The 11 Bands You'll See at the 2023 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The 11 Bands You'll See at the 2023 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Get excited about these marching band programs you'll see strutting down 6th Avenue at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23rd, 2023

Nov 22, 2023 by Natalie Shelton
The 11 Bands You'll See at the 2023 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who get excited to watch football on Thanksgiving, and those who get excited about watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

I happen to fall into the latter category.

Ever since I was a young kid, I awoke every Thanksgiving morning, ran downstairs, and immediately turned on the Thanksgiving Day Parade if it wasn't already on. It's a tradition that I still stick to 20+ years later. 

Along with the spectacular floats, musical acts, and high-flying balloons, the staple of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the marching band performances. Programs from across the world travel to New York City for their chance to bask in the spotlight in front of a national audience, and I've got to say that this may be one of the strongest groups of marching band programs that the parade has assembled.

Here's everything you need to know about all 11 marching band programs that are attending the 2023 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:

Alabama A&M University Marching Maroon & White Band

The Alabama A&M University Band Program has been in existence since 1890, making it the oldest HBCU band in the country. It continues to thrive with the support of an outstanding team of musicians & educators through thrilling halftime performances and parades around the nation. The 250-strong Maroon & White band and Danin' Divas will be kicking off the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so be sure to tune in early!

Fishers High School Tiger Band

The Fishers High School Tiger Band program involves hundreds of students each year. Members perform in six concert bands, jazz bands, percussion ensembles, marching band, pep band, colorguard, pit orchestra, show choir band & more. A proud part of the Fishers community, the band follows the school’s motto: “Have Pride, Show Character & Build Tradition.” This year, the Fishers High School Tiger Band will be featured in the coveted 'Santa Band' position, playing just ahead of Santa's appearance down the streets of New York City.

Greendale High School Marching Band

Located in a southwest suburb of Milwaukee, Greendale High School takes a great amount of pride in this marching band, with its members making up over 21 percent of the total student body. There are no auditions to join, so every student can be accepted into the program, regardless of musical background or ability. Most students participate in multiple activities or sports in addition to marching band, adhering to its tradition of encouraging a well-rounded high school experience for its members.

Jenison High School Marching Band

This Michigan band of nearly seven hundred members includes students from grades 6-12. School administrators & members of the local community have consistently supported Jenison’s successful music programs, which have long been a point of pride for the school district.

Macy's Great American Marching Band

It's not the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade without Macy's Great American Marching Band! Honoring America's finest high school musicians, color guard members & dancers, this band comprises select students from across the U.S. Its staff includes several talented music educators who serve as section instructors for the winds & percussion and assist in teaching the music as well as Herald Square drill & parade formation.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Eagle Regiment Marching Band

This band is recognized as one of the finest & most comprehensive high school band programs in the nation. Performing ensembles include the wind symphony, symphonic band, concert band, jazz band I, II, and III, indoor percussion, and its nationally ranked color guard. In the fall, all these groups combine to form the award-winning band—the largest organization at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which attracts some of its most academically high-achieving & talented students. They’re part of a very special organization that derives strength from its diverse & active membership, one that continually strives for the highest levels of excellence.

Mercer Island High School Marching Band

Known as "The Pride of the Island," this band is proud to represent the Pacific Northwest in this year's Parade. With hundreds of student performers, it’s also the largest student organization at Mercer Island High School. This non-competitive & entertainment-focused ensemble performs regularly at local, national & international events.

O'Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers

The students in this Illinois band receive top-notch musical education & experience, which helps to improve their performing skills while teaching them discipline & teamwork. Music has the power to inspire, unite & enrich lives, and this band program is a testament to that belief.

Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights

Recognized as “The Pride of New Jersey,” this group was founded in 1915 as a military drill band & has grown to become a source of great admiration for Rutgers University & the state. Its members take the field for all home football games, travel annually, and regularly welcome students, who currently represent over 70 different academic disciplines.

Texas Tech University Goin' Band from Raiderland

As the oldest & largest student organization at Texas Tech University, the band’s humble beginnings date back to 1925 with 21 members. That number has grown to several hundred today. Through humorist Will Rogers’ generosity, the Goin’ Band became the first college band to travel to an away game and have its halftime show broadcast on radio. The group is a proud recipient of the Sudler Trophy, which is awarded to a college band that has demonstrated the highest of musical standards & innovative marching routines.

The Band Directors Marching Band

In 2017, the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation was created to carry on the legacy of the late Mike Sewell, a longtime band director in the Pickerington, Ohio, school system. The foundation’s project, Saluting America's Band Directors™, has been established to bring together band directors & music educators from across the country. This band comprises volunteers who donate their time & expertise to promote the inspirational power of music.

Thank you to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade website for providing background about each band!