STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Steubenville High School Band Director Rosalind Thacker will be marching down the streets of New York City for the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Thacker will participate in the Band Directors Marching Band on Thursday with 400 members from across the country. The event comes on the heels of the group’s successful inaugural appearance in the 2022 Rose Parade with the Saluting America’s Band Directors project.
The Saluting America’s Band Directors parade entry will again convey its theme, “America’s band directors: We teach music. We teach life.” to recognize the extraordinary dedication and accomplishments of band directors and music educators everywhere. According to the organization, the music educators in this band have collectively mentored and taught hundreds of thousands of students. These professionals say not only teach and direct music, they teach about life itself.
Among the tunes being performed are “76 Trombones” from the hit musical, “The Music Man,” a March Trio Medley featuring “The Thunderer,” “National Emblem” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” while the Herald Square performance will be “Strike Up the Band” by George Gershwin and “Simple Gifts” by Aaron Copeland. The band will be directed by nationally known music educator and innovative band director Jon Waters with performance pieces arranged by Ohio composer Lisa Galvin.
Thacker will play saxophone during the festivities and is still feeling the excitement from appearing at the Rose Parade, but she’s even more thrilled to be joined by her son on the 2.5-mile journey in the Big Apple.
“I am extremely excited to be performing with this group of talented musicians and amazing staff, and blessed to be marching with my son, Trenton, who is a band director in Northwest Ohio.”
She originally was selected to take part by the Ohio-based Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, which created the Band Directors Marching Band to perform in the Pasadena Rose Parade in California in 2021. Thacker said the foundation sought applicants on social media and the goal was to create a band containing at least one director from each state.
“The process was extensive and included information about college marching experience, post-graduate performances and highlights from programs which we have taught. Due to COVID, the 2021 performance was pushed to 2022,” she said. “Following the success of the BDMB at the Rose Parade, Macy’s reached out and asked to host the band on the East Coast. The marchers who completed the Rose Parade were invited to march at Macy’s and new marchers were invited to apply for open spots.”
Thacker, who has been band director at SHS since 2015, was delighted to be part of the globally watched festivities and represent her school and community.
“I am thrilled to demonstrate to my students that playing an instrument does not need to stop after that final concert during your senior year. There are so many opportunities to perform in the community and beyond. Because I have continued playing, I have performed at several NFL games, on stage with pop stars, in many professional arenas and at concert halls in addition to local performances such as community bands and musical pit ensembles. The opportunities are endless! And on Thursday, I will check off one of my Band Bucket List Items: The Macy’s Parade!”
Additionally, the band was visiting Ground Zero on Nov. 20 to present wreaths and perform “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Taps” and “Amazing Grace.”
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