This Thanksgiving won’t be a blur of turkey sandwiches and football games for Andrew Sallee.
Instead, he’ll remember it forever as the year he got to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He is believed to be the first from the College to ever perform in the event.
The Great American Marching Band made its debut in the parade in 2006. It is comprised of 250 high school students from across the country.
For his audition video, Sallee played the euphonium, a brass instrument that resembles a small tuba. In the parade, he will play the closely related baritone, which produces a sound similar to that of the euphonium but looks more like a trombone.
Sallee arrives in New York on Saturday and will spend the next several days practicing with the other members of the band at a football field. According to Macy’s, the Macy’s Great American Marching Band will be performing the Taylor Swift hit, “Shake It Off,” and Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.”
The Great American Marching Band wears red and white uniforms with the Macy’s star on their hats.
The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. and will be broadcast live on NBC. According to Macy’s, more than 3.5 million attendees watch the parade in person, and another 50 million tune in via television.
Sallee will graduate from Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate with both his diploma and his Associate in Arts degree. He plans on continuing his studies in music education or music performance — or both — at a university.
“Since I’ve come to Polk State, I’ve been more exposed to what kind of ensembles and what kind of caliber musicians are out there,” he said. “Polk State has been a big help, and now I know what I have to look forward to.”
Polk State Music Director John Anderson said he expects the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to be just the beginning for Sallee.
“He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Sallee is not the only member of his family to study music at Polk. His mother, Christy Sallee, was the first Polk State graduate to become a piano performance major at the University of South Florida’s School of Music.
In addition to Music, Polk State Fine Arts includes Theatre and Visual Arts, all of which enjoy outstanding statewide reputations.