WB student to perform in Macy's Parade|
Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
ALLPORT - An estimated 2.5 million spectators and 50 million worldwide television viewers will watch the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22. You can count the friends and family of West Branch Area High School junior Jordyn Andrews among them.
Andrews is one of 185 musicians and 50 band front selected to perform as a member of the 2012 Macy's Great American Marching Band.
"When I found out I literally jumped in the air and called my band director, (Jennifer Sproull) immediately," said Andrews. "And I sent a picture of the acceptance letter to my closest friend. I honestly didn't think I would make it ... the audition was frustrating."
A family friend told Andrews about the Macy's Great Ameri-can Marching Band and encouraged her to audition, she said. Soon after, she printed out an online application. She sent it to Macy's along with a CD containing a three-minute audition, a classical piece she performed on piccolo.
Andrews began her instrumental band career in fourth grade under the direction of Trent Yarrison. Yarrison taught her how to play a flute, and she expanded her talents in ninth grade to include the piccolo and piano. Under Sproull's direction, she learned to play the saxophone and trumpet for jazz band.
"Mrs. Sproull is my inspiration," said Andrews. "She's the reason I stuck with band. She made me aware of musical opportunities such as district and regional band festivals and taught me how to appreciate music. Music allows me to express myself in a different way."
Sproull recently selected Andrews as the recipient of the Warrior marching band director's award. Andrews is West Branch's current drum major and a member of the Tri-M Honor Society. She participates in chorus under the direction of Daniel Stilson, and is currently taking voice lessons at Penn State University.
"Music is my passion, and my goal is to major in music education and to be in the blue band at Penn State," said Andrews. "One of the most difficult things about music is all of the practice time and extra work that goes into it that most people don't see."
The 2012 Macy's Great American Marching Band is comprised of select high school students from all 50 states. Its members are under the direction of Auburn University's Dr. Richard Good and Assistant Director Barry Houser from the University of Illinois. They will stay at Hilton Woodcliff Lake and rehearse at Teaneck Armory Sports Coliseum in New Jersey. Rehearsals are open to the members' parents and are scheduled for Nov. 19-21.
Members of the Macy's Great American Marching Band will attend a leadership workshop with motivational speaker and author Fran Kick, celebrate Thanksgiving with a dinner-dance and take a group photo in Times Square. They'll be treated to tours of the World Trade Center memorial and Rockefeller Center, and a showing of the Broadway musical "Mama Mia."
"I'm excited to gain the musical experience and to be a VIP in New York, but I'm also nervous about being in a big city without my family," said Andrews. Rehearsals aside, families are not permitted to stay with Macy's Great American Marching Band nor participate in its activities.
To raise money for her trip, Andrews sold ham and cheese sandwiches and solicited area businesses. The money she raised will pay for her uniform, meals and hotel accommodations. According to musfestivals.com, the band's custom uniforms will be provided by The Band Hall, sousaphones by Jupiter Band Instruments and marching drums by Mapex Drums.
"I want to thank all of the friends, family and local businesses who sponsored me and Mrs. Sproull for inspiring me to seek out musical opportunities," said Andrews. "Marching in New York is going to be a lot of fun."
According to information provided by Music Festivals and Macy's, the band will step off from Central Park and make its way to Harold Square where it will perform for celebrity hosts and a grandstand audience. Parade performances at Harold Square will be shown live on NBC.