Senior Ethan Head Marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


Jennifer Head

Ethan Head gets ready to perform in Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Jersey Bilyeu, Writer, Photographer

On Thanksgiving Day, 10 marching bands performed in a national Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In Macy’s Great American Marching Band, Kennedy senior Ethan Head could be seen playing bass for the drumline.

Head didn’t plan to perform in the parade until his mom told him about the auditions.

The Macy’s Parade is a really well known event and I figured there’s nothing to lose from trying, so might as well try and if I don’t make it whatever, but if I do then it’d be a really cool experience,” Head said.

The parade has been a long time coming. COVID-19 cancelled 2020’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“Two years ago I started working on it. Because I was accepted for last year … they carried it over which is why it’s been so long,” Head stated.

It was no simple task to be in the parade.

“I had to learn a solo, which was weird because bass solos [aren’t] good,” Head explained. “Then some warm ups and exercises.”

For rehearsals, the schedule changed every day.

“Every day was a little different. The first day we rehearsed a little bit, then it was mostly sightseeing. Then we had one day that was a nine hour rehearsal and then every other day we would rehearse in the morning and then do some sightseeing in the afternoon,” Head said.

Head also faced challenges within his own section. Having less time to be together created obstacles for the drumline.

“Probably the hardest thing for drumline was being able to play with each other,” said Head. “Most drumlines spend a lot of time learning how to play with each other so that they all line up and everything sounds clean, whereas we didn’t have as much time to do that.”

The amount of staffing also contrasted with the Kennedy Marching Band. There were more directors and techs compared to the few at Kennedy according to Head.

“I think there were 20 of them. Drumline had four people and then every section had at least one person,” Head explained. “They were all college professors and doctors.”

Being a part of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band showed Head how well a team can work together to put on a great performance.

If given the opportunity, Head would return and perform as an alumni. In the meantime, he recommended auditioning to anyone who’s considering it.

Performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a challenge, a learning experience and a source of fun for Head.

The whole trip was just really great. I can’t think of a favorite part,” Head stated.