LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is doing something special this year.
It's in its 93rd year and full of people, balloons, a good time and the Macy's Great American Marching Band.
This year a McCutcheon student is playing in it and bringing his family to see the spectacle.
Ben Sherlow is ready to wow his mom, dad, siblings, those watching in attendance in New York City and those watching from home.
"I was never pushed into drumming or anything," said Ben. "I feel like I have a connection with drums that I don't have with anything else. I love how it's a much more physical instrument to play."
Ben is one of 185 high school musicians to be selected to play in Macy's Great American Marching Band.
"We could tell that it was something he was just super passionate about," said Ben's mother, Susan Sherlow.
Susan is a teacher at McCutcheon High School.
She said her son picked up drumming after watching his older brother try it out in school.
"There's been so many inspirations," said Ben. "I started back in the sixth grade. I kinda went to it because I thought it looked cool and because my brother did it so we already had all the practice equipment. Realized that tenors is probably my favorite thing I played. I met a lot of seniors that really inspired me."
Ben said his family never pressured him into playing at all and he said while at home, pretty much, all he does is practice to become the best he can be.
"I just saw them [tenors] play in the parade and I know that they mentioned that it's made out of high schoolers across the country, so I thought there was a cool opportunity there," said Ben. "Their requirements is that you have to make a video demonstrating basic skills and solo, and I was already preparing all that stuff anyway for Solo Ensemble. So I figured that all I'd need to do is record myself playing stuff I already know and send in a video and see if I get accepted."
Ben submitted his video via Youtube.
It was posted in late February and has racked up more than 400 views.
"Three months later, I got an email," said Ben. "I remember it was during lunch one day. I got an email from the Macy's Day Parade and I was got really nervous because I knew it was either going to say accepted or not accepted so I opened and it said 'Congratulations!'"
"I was so excited for him," said Susan. "You know, when he first started talking about auditioning, you know, basically when he asked permission we just said, you know if you get accepted, we'll make it happen."
"I'm just real excited," said Ben. "I'll be expected to be playing basically at a collegiate level. We just got to be expected to be learning and know everything by heart by the time we get there so we have to be especially fast learners, confident performers, all of the above."
Ben said he believes he is the first McCutcheon student to ever participant in the Macy's Great American Marching Band.
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is one of the world's largest parade.
It's a three-hour parade held in Manhattan and ends outside Macy's Herald Square, and takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
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