CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Approaching the 4th of July, the Centerville Jazz Band has their sights set on another holiday; they’re preparing for their appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade by starting to drum up support.
“The fact that I get to be a part of it this year is just amazing,” beams senior drum major Molly Holloway, who plays the flute.
“This is something we’ve been building up since our freshman year, and we were always lucky because two classes ahead of us were never going to go,” recognizes senior drum major Grecia Garcia-Rodriguez, who plays the trombone.
The Centerville Jazz Band will be marching in the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The band was supposed to go in 2020, but COVID threw everything off key.
“There’s just a lot of thankfulness that we still have the chance, and we can still represent the people who thought they were going to go,” says Amara Jain who’s also a senior drum major and plays the clarinet.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone to go, and I feel like we have just been put in the right place,” states Nevaeh Haskins who is another senior drum major and plays the clarinet.
It will cost about $350,000 to send the band to New York for a week. So far, they’ve raised about $35,000.
“We had originally hoped to raise about $100,000 of it. I think at this point, I think if we could get to $50,000, we’d be elated,” smiles Angie Boerger, Co-President of the Centerville Band Boosters.
After losing out on some funding last year, they’ve had to improvise. This year, they’re using one big local parade as a prelude to get to the even bigger national one.
“The Americana parade here in Centerville is July 5th, and then after the parade, the city has the street fair,” describes Boerger. “The Americana Festival has been very gracious, and they don’t normally allow fundraising to happen at that event, but they are going to allow the Centerville Jazz Band to have a booth at the festival to fund-raise for Macy’s.”
Much of the cost is covered by parents, and it’s not just for the buses, hotel rooms, and food.
“About $20-$25,000 of that is cost outside of student fees like copyrights for the music, the design staff drill writing, those types of things that are outside of the hotel rooms and the food and the buses and all of that,” says Boerger. “We’d like to get some more money to come in to just help out the students and their families because there’s a lot of our families that have been affected by COVID and by job loss.”
They’re hoping to offset some of the expense for the roughly 185 band members heading to the Big Apple to represent Centerville on a national scale.
“It’s really exciting to wear the Centerville name, getting to wear the school colors, showing our community’s pride in New York, hearing our little city’s name on the news. And I think that’s something everyone can take pride in. It’s not just us going. It’s our community,” says Garcia-Rodriguez.
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