The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band will kick off the 2010 holiday season in the Big Apple.
“I am happy to announce that our own Pride of Mississippi has been asked to perform in New York City as part of the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Denise von Herrmann, dean of the College of Arts and Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi.
The surprise announcement was met with applause and cheers from the audience at Pride Preview Concert Aug. 21. Bands from across the country audition each year with the hopes of being chosen for this prestigious event. The Pride will join nine other college and high school bands for the 84-year-old American cultural tradition.
“Performing in the Macy’s Parade will give the students one of their most memorable college band experiences,” said Mohamad Schuman, director of The Pride. “This is an excellent opportunity for Southern Miss students to display their amazing talents and abilities for the world.”
The nationally televised event will be seen by more than 47 million viewers across the globe. Schuman submitted an application packet of audio and video recordings in the spring of 2009. Selected from a pool of 150 applicants, The Pride is the first university band program in the state to receive an invitation.
Said student Ryan Raziano, “The Magic of Macy’s” is nothing new. “This is my second time performing in the Macy’s Parade,” said Raziano, a junior saxophonist from Gulfport. He first participated in Macy’s as a high school senior in 2006. “It was cool to see so many people in one place to watch you perform.”
The busy streets of New York City will be filled with nearly two-and-a-half million spectators. The band plans to spend approximately five days in the city.
With a little over a year to prepare, The Pride must raise between $300,000 and $325,000 to fund their journey. While discussions about fundraising are ongoing, Schuman is confident the goal will be met in time for the trip.
“The Macy’s parade is an American tradition and the Pride will be center stage for all eyes to see,” he said. “This single event will bring much recognition to the Southern Miss band program, the School of Music, and most importantly, the University of Southern Mississippi.”
To support The Pride in their journey to Macy’s in 2010, visit http://www.usm.edu/foundation. For more information on The Pride, visit http://www.usm.edu/pride.
Members of The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band at The University of Southern Mississippi gather to celebrate the announcement that the band has been invited to participate in the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Southern Miss photo by Tearanny Street)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.