Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains is one of only 10 marching bands selected from across the nation to perform in the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.
Macy’s Parade officials were on campus April 25, to surprise the 400 members of the WCU marching band with news of the invitation to participate in the 2014 edition of the annual holiday event.
Members of the band had assembled in the theater of Hinds University Center under the pretense that they were attending a mandatory organizational meeting. And, when Chancellor David Belcher came into the room, one student shouted, “Belcher is going to march with us next year!”
But when Wesley Whatley, the parade’s creative director, broke the news, unveiled a parade banner and presented a commemorative drum head to David Starnes, director of the Pride of the Mountains, the student musicians burst into applause and cheers. They then showered Starnes with a rain of colorful confetti.