LEANDER, Texas - Vandegrift High School's Viper Marching Band and Vision Dance Company will be making their Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut next year.
The band and dance company found out about their selection Wednesday afternoon. The Viper Marching Band will join the celebration at the call of "Let’s Have a Parade™," the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of the beloved annual holiday tradition since 1924.
Viper Marching Band and Vision Dance Company were selected from more than 100 applicants as one of nine selected bands to march in the 96th edition of the annual holiday spectacle.
Each year, the national department store chain says its Parade Band Committee looks for bands that have the stage presence and musical expertise to captivate the streets of New York City and millions of viewers across the country.
"There are only a handful of high school music programs in America with the potential, creative vision, talent, musicianship and near-perfect execution on the field to place them in the number one slot at Bands of America Grand National Championships each fall," said Wesley Whatley, creative producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. "In 2019, Vandegrift High School walked away with the win as national champions and we look forward to adding yet another feather in their cap as we welcome them for their Thanksgiving debut in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!"
"I am excited and honored for the Vandegrift High School Band to be chosen to perform in the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," said band director Mike Howard. "One of our program’s missions is to seek out life-changing performance opportunities for our students, and this will certainly qualify. We are proud to represent Leander ISD, the City of Austin, and the State of Texas in this iconic holiday event!"
Vandegrift will spend the next 18 months planning for their Parade appearance. Rehearsals and creative fundraising events will not only bring the school and local community closer together but also prepare the students for the march of a lifetime.
To help kick-start the band’s fundraising goal, Macy’s says it has made a $10,000 donation in support of their march towards the Big Apple.