PHS quartet marching in Macy’s Parade

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A group of Pelham High School band students will be traveling to New York next month to participate in one of the nation’s biggest holiday events.

PHS students Andrew Burnside, Jessica Mansel, Drew Romanowski and Ryan Kailey will depart on Nov. 19 to join the Great American Marching Band in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The four PHS juniors will be joined by 181 other musicians from all over the country in the Great American Marching Band under the direction of Auburn University Director of Bands Dr. Richard Good and Dr. John Woods, of Ohio State University.

“I’m really proud of them. This will be the first time that three of the kids have gone,” said PHS Director of Bands Jeff Burnside, noting his son, Andrew, also went last year. “That is an extremely well-run parade. They do it right.

“We have had a great group of kids this year. These four kids going to the Macy’s Parade is just an extension of what they have been doing all year,” Burnside added.

During the week leading up to the parade, the PHS students will spend time practicing and sightseeing in New York City. They will attend the Broadway show “Sister Act” along with many other attractions in the nation’s largest city.

“I really enjoy marching, playing my instrument and meeting new people, so I think Macy’s will be a lot of fun,” Mansel said. “It will be really cool to say I’ve marched the streets of NYC in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

The Great American Marching Band will begin the parade at Central Park, and will march down the streets of New York City in front of 2.5 million spectators. The event will also be televised to more than 50 million television viewers on NBC.

Andrew Burnside said he is looking forward to his second straight year marching in the event, and said he is glad some of his peers will accompany him.

“I really enjoyed the trip when I went last time, and it was a lot of fun. It will be great this year because some of my friends are going also,” Andrew Burnside said.