WALTON — They're just "the little school in the middle of a cornfield." And they are going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2015.
Lewis Cass Marching Kings band director Don Krug astounded his students Friday night when he let out the secret he'd kept since March 18. The Macy's Thanksgiving parade committee had chosen the Marching Kings as one of 10 marching bands to perform in the 2015 parade in the first year the band had ever applied for a slot.
Students inhaled sharply and covered their mouths, gaping in astonishment, as Macy's Thanksgiving parade creative director Wesley Whatley delivered the news, assisted by seventh-grade band members Alex Myers and Jackson Tharp, who let loose a 9-foot banner declaring "We're in!"
"This is amazing," said sophomore Aaron Boyd, a trombonist who will be a senior the year the band travels to New York City for the parade. "This is probably the greatest thing ever to happen for me in band. ... This is like fifty thousand times bigger than state."
The marching band, which counts as members about a quarter of the entire high school population at Lewis Cass, has long been a force throughout the state. It's made 32 consecutive appearances at the state high school marching band competition and performed in a 2 1/2-mile parade at the Indy 500 race in 2012.
But making it to the Macy's parade in the heart of New York City was an even greater challenge, Krug said.
"I was so pleased that we had made it to that level of performance. But more than that, I was shocked," he said. "We do not have what some of the big city schools have."
But what they do have is the support of parents and others in the area.