The UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band takes to the streets of New York City later this morning where it will perform in the Macy’s Parade. The band expects to play to a street audience of more than 3 million people and a national TV audience of 50 million.
Timothy Anderson directs the UMass marching band. He says playing in the Macy’s Parade is unlikely anything the students have ever done before. “[The parade] is much more continuous activity. For example, for a football game half-time show, we’re limited to 15 minutes, whereas the parade itself is going to be at least 60 minutes if not 90 minutes from when we start to when we get to the [Macy’s store],” says Anderson. “And there’s no down-time. You get done with a song and the drums tap off the next song and you start playing that.”
Anderson says the band will also have to deal with marching in an unfamiliar space that is more narrow than a wide-open football field. Even though they’re in New York, he says the band plans to play Sweet Caroline in honor of the Red Sox winning the World Series.
The Minutemen are expected appear on TV sometime around 11:24 this morning.