More than 3.5 million television viewers worldwide will watch The University of Southern Mississippi Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and Dixie Darlings make debut appearances in New York City at the 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Pride of Mississippi, comprised of 300 members, is the first university band in the state to be selected for this honor. Only 11 bands from the 300 applicants were selected to perform in the parade that is a holiday tradition. The parade will broadcast live at 9 a.m.Thursday on NBC as performers and floats take the route down 7th and 6th Avenue to Macy’s Herald Square.
“The Macy’s Parade is a timeless tradition and we’re extremely proud to have been a part of The Longest Running Show on Broadway,”said Mohamad Schuman, director of The Pride.Preparation for the trip to the Macy’s Parade has been exciting and challenging for members of The Pride, according to J. Corey Francis, a doctorate of musical arts student and graduate assistant for the Southern Miss Bands office.
“Probably the most challenging part of the preparation for the entire ensemble has been balancing teaching of the Macy’s show with The Pride’s other performances at football games,” said Francis, a Gainesville, Ga., native. “The students in The Pride have worked extraordinarily hard on every task they have been assigned."
With a little over a year to prepare, The Pride organized a fundraising campaign to pay for its five-day stay in the Big Apple. No stone was left unturned in its efforts to raise between $300,000 and $325,000. Donations were collected at Golden Eagle football games and a local jewelry store even sponsored a diamond give-a-away.