GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Guntersville High School band members are taking their talents to Philadelphia. All 100 members are marching in the annual 6ABC Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day parade.
“It’s a little bit stressful because you know, it’s the first big thing this band has done in a long time that I know of,” said senior trumpet player Davis Biddle.
The students have been working all month to make sure their feet are in step and their notes are in tune to take the skills that they have on a local level to the national stage.
“We’re here working for hours on need just making sure everything is right and the way it needs to be, but we’re also having fun while we do it,” said sophomore base drummer Carolyne Redmond.
“It just gives them the opportunity to perform on a grander scale for a larger audience and that’s always exciting for a performer. It helps build them up and build the school up and the program up,” said band director Corey Hyman. “The other thing, it allows these kids to travel because a lot of these kids aren’t able to travel at all. They get the opportunity now to travel to somewhere they may not travel again their whole life.”
Hyman has been the band director for the Guntersville High School Crimson Guard for five years.
The annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia is the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country.
“It feels so cool just getting to march with other people and getting to see what it’s like to march just it’s so cool getting to be in big parades like this,” added Redmond.
While performing can be a lot of hard work, the students said the friendships that make it all worth it.
“I love the people. The people are the best part about it. Just getting to be with my friends every day and have fun is the best part,” said Redmond.
“This is where I’ve kind of connected with all my friends and all my people. It’s been like a family for me,” said Biddle. “I’m thankful more than anything that I’m able to get this opportunity that I’m able to be a part of the showcase that is the Guntersville Crimson Guard.”
Guntersville High School joins several other Northeast Alabama schools, including Arab and Albertville high schools, that have participated in the parade.
87 adults are going on the trip, as well.
They leave Sunday and head back after the parade on Thanksgiving Day.
The trip will cost an estimated total of $150,000.