On Thursday, the University of Virginia’s Cavalier Marching Band brought its signature high-energy style to the streets of New York City, marching in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Braving the cold, the 330-plus members of the Cavalier Marching Band were up early Thanksgiving morning, excitement running high as they waited to play their part in an iconic Thanksgiving tradition that was expected to attract 3.5 million live spectators and a staggering 50 million television viewers.
The Cavaliers joined a lineup that included nine other marching bands from around the country, all marching in the shadows of Macy’s signature massive balloons, bringing to life classic cartoons like Thomas the Tank Engine, Snoopy, the Power Rangers and Paddington Bear. The parade also featured many celebrity performances, including Mariah Carey, country singer Jake Owen, Virginia native Chris Daughtry and pop singers Andy Grammer and Jordin Sparks.
UVA first learned of the band’s selection in April 2014, when Macy’s announced that the Cavaliers had been chosen from more than 175 applicants. Since then, the band has been hard at work planning the 50-minute march, which required much tighter turns and narrower formations than the band typically uses. Rehearsals began in earnest this summer, and continued through the fall, interspersed with the band’s usual performances at football games and many other UVA events.
The UVA community came together to raise the $250,000 needed to fund the band’s trip to New York, led by a $25,000 matching gift from UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan and a $50,000 matching gift from the UVA Parents Fund Committee.
It all paid off on Thursday in New York, and UVA Today was on hand to capture the moment, behind the scenes and on the street. Take a look at the video to watch the band share a bit of UVA with those watching in New York and around the country.