OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s not something that just anyone can do, and for some, it’s a lifelong dream to be able to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
That dream has now become a reality for Kim Miller, a band director at Leighton Elementary and Kingsford Park Elementary in Oswego and assistant director for the Oswego Marching Band.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Oswego City School District announced that Ms. Miller will be joining a group called Saluting America’s Band Directors in the parade, which includes 400 band directors from across the country.
Saluting America’s Band Directors is a project that aims to showcase the dedication and achievements of band directors nationwide using the theme “America’s Band Directors: We teach music. We teach life.”
“I heard about the group through social media and submitted an application where I had to list my teaching and marching experience. I’ve been marching since high school in marching bands (I’m a Jordan-Elbridge grad) and drum and bugle corps, and was thrilled when my application for this group was accepted,” said Miller, who added that directors from Baldwinsville and West Genesee are in the group as well.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a 2.5-mile parade in New York City that has happened every Thanksgiving since 1924. Miller admits she has watched the parade almost every year for most of her life but never once thought she would be in it.
“I’ve watched the Macy’s Parade every year for most of my life, and it’s surreal to think I’ll actually get to be a part of it. To perform in a setting like this with a group of band directors who all believe in the ability to teach life lessons through music represents a powerful message,” said Miller. “My biggest goal every day is to teach students that they can persevere to do things they once thought impossible to make something truly great, and am proud to demonstrate this for them on a national stage!”
In the parade, Miller will be playing a mellophone, which she says is “basically a French horn for a marching band.”
“My favorite instrument is the French horn, but you can’t march with them (the bell faces back), so the mellophone is the next best thing. Band directors typically have a primary instrument that we’re best at, even though we can play everything,” said Miller.
Miller, along with her colleagues, will represent the profound impact that music educators have in guiding their students and teaching life lessons through the use of music.
This year’s parade will be on Thursday, Nov. 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., starting at West 77th Street & Central Park West and ending at the iconic Macy’s at Herald Square.