This Thanksgiving, residents of Fountain Hills might recognize some familiar faces when they are watching the annual Macy’s parade.
Three Fountain Hills High School band members – Brant Ralph, Starr Hemstreet and Foster Woolbright – will perform tomorrow in the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, comprised of students from all over the country.
For the musicians, getting the opportunity to go on this trip is a reminder that their hard work in the band program hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“[Band Director Lynn] Truby picked three students that she thought would do well with the entire trip, students who worked well with each other and other musicians,” Hemstreet explained. “We were fortunately those kids. We just busted our butts for the three or four years we have been here, so it’s cool to have this chance.”
Even with their hard work, it was difficult for the students to imagine that a small program like the FHHS band could receive an opportunity like this when there are so many other larger programs in the country.
“I moved here from Florida and the band programs there, in my county, were really big,” Ralph said. “I wasn’t part of the program but there was one school that had 350 musicians and every year they would march at the Rose Bowl or the Thanksgiving Day Parade. So I have always thought, wow, I wish that was me. And I never thought it would be me, since we have such a small school. So getting this chance is surreal.”
Ralph, Hemstreet and Woolbright left for the Big Apple this past Saturday and, along with spending time rehearsing for tomorrow’s parade, the three have also had the chance to take in the sights.