Union Pines Band Makes Bid for Macy's Parade
The Union Pines High School Marching Vikings could be performing next year in one of the biggest parades in the world.
The marching band has applied for a spot in the 2011 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It is a highly competitive process, and band members spent three snow days completing the application.
Selection to the iconic event - which draws tens of millions of television viewers - would be another huge accomplishment for the program. The band will march in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., this summer.
Though Union Pines is a rural school, its band competes consistently - and successfully - against much larger high schools.
"Here we are in the middle of a field, and it's like this little school has taken on Goliath," said Lauren Kenefick, a band parent. "It's not a big-city school. They are the greatest bunch of kids going. They love to play their instruments."
Band is fun, Kenefick said, and the students have a great attitude. It's a yearlong commitment, with marching band in the fall, concert band in the spring and camps over the summer.
"These kids work so hard to achieve the best that they can and they're so proud and the parents are just so proud," she said. "This is a really big thing. You don't count it as just one kid, it's the whole group. Everyone is just so proud of the whole group."
Kenefick said the band has been grateful for the outpouring of community support it has been receiving. She said whenever they ask for help for funding trips, it is always quick to step up to the plate.
She said without that support, the band may not have had the success that it has.
If the Macy's parade becomes a reality, the band will need some help again.
The trip to Washington will cost about $500 per student. Kenefick figures that spending Thanksgiving in New York City would be more expensive, possibly between $500 and $700.
The band has a slew of live performances and fundraisers scheduled over the next few months. They include craft and bake sales and performances at various restaurants where proceeds are donated.
Kenefick thanked the Moore County school system for its dedication to arts education. She said music budgets are usually among the first to be slashed when the economic forecast worsens, but that learning music helps with math, socialization and psychology and makes kids more rounded in general.
"Fortunately we have a good school system that recognizes the needs of the students," she said.
For more information, visit the band's Web site at www.unionpinesband.org.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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