By Jacob Sturm
One Mustang High School student will have an opportunity of a lifetime on Thanksgiving Day.
CJ Welch will make the big screen in the big apple as part of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Welch said in order for a band student to be able to participate in the parade, they have to do an online audition and compete against students from every state in the country.
Welch said he chose a solo from a solo book, and credited his lessons teacher for picking the song for him.
“There’s two halves of it,” Welch said. “The first part is the marching. There’s a box drill you have to march while playing a scale. And you have to show simple commands like keeping time, horns up and horns down. And then the second half is the musical part, and that was basically just a solo of your choice that you can play.”
As for the audition, Welch estimated that he discovered the opportunity in December of 2022 and made the audition in January of 2023. One month after submitting the audition, Welch received the confirmation email that he had made the band.
At least 185 students will participate in the band, with only a certain number being allowed from each state.
Welch said he wants to minor in Music down the road, and said he also wants to emphasize music later on in life.
As for the parade, two songs will be played by Welch’s band. Welch will be playing the sousaphone, the marching band equivalent of a tuba in the band.
“For me, it’s a pretty big deal because I’ve wanted to be in this parade for a good number of years now, and the fact that I’m finally able to do it and I know the requirements to actually be in it, I realize how big of an achievement it is,” Welch said. “… I’m glad to be representing Oklahoma and Mustang in the parade.”