Winston Churchill High School band to play Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

Surprise announcement delights students

Published On: Apr 15 2013 04:49:52 PM CDT

Members of the Winston Churchill High School marching band were surprised to learn they were chosen to take part in the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Students knew the creative director of the parade was in town from New York to hear the band play but they didn't know he was there to tell them they'd earned a spot in the lineup.

"I was so excited. It was a real shock. Obviously, I'd hoped we had gotten it, but I didn't know they'd already made the decision,so when I heard, I was like, 'Woo!'" said sophomore Franki Gay.

"We all looked at each other and we were like, 'We're going we're going!'" said sophomore Sophie Plotkin.

The band is one of only 10 chosen from across the country. More than 175 applied.

"For us, we wanted a band that could represent Texas in an exciting way (and) we knew Winston Churchill could do that," said Wesley Whatley, Macy's Thanksgiving  Day parade creative director

The parade is still more than a year and half away.

That means the school's current juniors and seniors won't be going, but students from Jackson, Bradley and Eisenhower Middle Schools might get a shot

Band Director Brian Pollard said he believes about 250 band members will take part.

The band will soon start working to raise money for the big trip.

"It's not going to be cheap so we're going to start planning fundraisers. We've got 18 months to plan that out. That way those kids and those parents will have the chance to do something they really may never have the chance to do again," said Pollard.

More than 3.5 million people will be watching from parade route and more than 50 million will watch on national TV. 

"For most of these kids, it'll be the largest stage they'll ever perform on," said Whatley.

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