Marching Illini to perform in 2015 Macy's parade

Marching Illini to perform in 2015 Macy's parade

The Marching Illini band already has plans for the Thanksgiving holiday next year:  performing in the 89th annual Macy's parade.

The band will travel to New York City for the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, officials announced amid a shower of confetti this morning at the UI's Harding Band Building.

“The nation’s premier college marching band is honored to represent the university, the state of Illinois and the Big Ten Conference,” band Director Barry Houser said in a release. “The tradition and pageantry of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coincides with our own program’s history as the first college (band) program in the country. We hope to share the tradition, loyalty, pride and excellence that is associated with Illinois and Macy’s with the entire country in 2015."

The Marching Illini beat out 175 applicants from across the country and is the second Big 10 band it perform in the parade, following Purdue in 2010, according to the UI.

"Few band programs offer the history, size and scope of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Macy’s band selection committee was blown away by the band’s ability to engage the crowd, entertain and put on a high-energy show," said Wesley Whatley, creative director for the parade.

The parade, which officially kicks off the Christmas season in New York, draws more than 3 million spectators along its route from Central Park to Macy's Herald Square, as well as 50 million TV viewers on NBC.

Houser is also assistant director of of Macy's Great American Marching Band, which performs in the annual parade and includes high school musicians from each of the 50 states. Richard Good of Auburn University is the director.

The UI band traveled to Ireland in March to perform in Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade and has appeared in numerous bowl games over the years. It has more than 350 student musicians.

Houser had been tweeting teasers about the announcement for weeks, including this on April 18:


Tuesday night came this reminder:


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Mr Dreamy wrote on May 02, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Wow, that's almost as exciting as winning a BCS Bowl, or getting to the Final Four, or winning the college World Series! Not.

The band plays in a parade. Big whoop. High school bands, baton twirlers and tumbling teams are in parades, too.

Season football tickets to watch a horrible coach run a horrible team, season tickets to watch a barely in control coach who is in over his head maybe make the NIT with the best players he can recruit by scraping the bottom of the barrel. 

I don't think so.


ATrain270 wrote on May 02, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Wow, you seem like a joy to be around.  You might want to take a step back from seems to be affecting you in ways that it shouldn't.

moderndaycowboy wrote on May 03, 2014 at 9:05 am

I wonder who has the more successful alumni, the marching band or the football team?