THS marching band selected for 2017 Philadelphia parade

By EMILY REED / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The Thompson High School Marching Southern Sounds band was recently selected to march in the 2017 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“We were really excited to be selected to participate in this very prestigious event,” said THS band director Jon Bubbett. “Our wind ensemble has performed on a regional and national level for the past eight years now. We were looking for an opportunity for our marching band to do the same thing, and this parade was recommended to me as being a great entry-level parade that could eventually lead us to participating in the Macy’s or Rose Bowl parades.”

Bubbett said he sent in the band’s application for consideration, and learned in December that the group had been selected to participate.

“We are hoping to take 200 students to represent our city and state in the parade,” Bubbett said. “It doesn’t just put our wind ensemble on a national level, it puts our entire band on a national level, and we are thrilled about that.”

Bubbett said the trip will consist of two nights in New York and two nights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with students having the opportunity to participate in several events.

“We will have the opportunity to see a Broadway play, we will be going to Ground Zero,” Bubbett said. “We will also get to have a dinner cruise along the Delaware River for Thanksgiving dinner, which will be a highlight.”

Bubbett said the band will perform several songs throughout the parade route, and anticipates opportunities to perform during times the band will be stopped at sections throughout the parade.

“I have heard there are a lot of starts and stops in this parade,” Bubbett said. “Apparently, when the bands are stopped, people in the crowd will request different songs to be played. One of the songs I have heard people request is the theme song from ‘Rocky,’ so we will definitely be practicing that song to be ready to play.”

Students will soon begin raising funds for the trip, which Bubbett estimates should cost each student roughly $1,000 to attend.

“We really want every student to be able to attend, so we are going to be raising funds constantly,” Bubbett said. “This will be by far the biggest band trip we have ever done.”