Archived Story

SCHS tuba player to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published 9:35am Wednesday, November 20, 2013


COLUMBIANA – Shelby County High School senior Andrew Melsen will fly to New York City this weekend to prepare for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, during which he will perform as a member of the Great American Marching Band.

Melsen is one of 185 high school musicians across the country selected to participate in the parade and only one of 15 students selected from the state of Alabama. He plays the sousaphone, or tuba, which he began when he was in sixth grade.

“(New York) is probably the biggest city I’ll have been to,” Melsen said. “We’ll have rehearsals, but they have lots of other stuff on the agenda too. They’ll take us a to see a matinee on Broadway. We’ll go to Times Square for lunch. We’ll really get to experience the city. It’s going to be fun.”

Melsen said he was invited to try out for the band by Auburn University’s Director of Bands Richard Good, who will also direct the Great American Marching Band. Good was looking for tuba players, and Melson had participated in several of Good’s marching, leadership and symphonic camps over the years.

“He invited me to send in my application and waived my tryout,” Melsen said.

He will leave Nov. 23 out of Atlanta and return Nov. 28. The SCHS Band Boosters are covering his application fee and flight, he said.

“I’m excited about performing in front of all those people, not only the people there but the people watching,” he said.

But his audience may even be bigger than that. Besides playing a medley of Christmas carols during the parade and performing “Can’t Hold Us” at Times Square with the band, all of the band’s sousaphone players will try out on a piece they will receive upon arrival. Two will be selected to play on The Today Show.

Regardless of whether he’s selected, Melsen said he’s looking forward to the “sheer performance and the overall experience of New York.”

“I never imagined I’d be doing it,” he said. “So it’s wonderful.”

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