Trading Thanksgiving turkey for the Big Apple

5:41 PM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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Two East Tennessee students are looking beyond election day to Thanksgiving day when they will march in a famous parade in New York City.

The marching band at Carter High School practices for football game performances. The students have also marched in well-known parades.

"Internationally we've been to the London parade, the New Year's Day parade, we did that in 2009, 2010. We're going to Hawaii next year for 2014 Waikiki and we've done the Atlanta parade, the Daytona 500 parade. We've done a bunch," Band Director Matt McCurry said.

Two band members have been invited to march in a prestigious parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

"I'm really excited. I haven't seen any taller buildings than what's around Knoxville," Ben McCurry said.

Andrew Chunn explained, "It's called the Macy's Great American Marching Band."

Andrew Chunn and Ben McCurry both started drumming about six years ago.

"I figured out I just had natural rhythm because other kids just poo poo chuh chuh but I could just sit on it and kind of groove around a little bit," Ben said.

The Carter High School drum line has won gold medals in competitions so it didn't seem like a stretch to send audition videos for a spot in the parade.

Matt McCurry said, "I got to watch it, that's about it. They did it on their own on the stage behind closed doors and when they were finished with it we got to see it."

Andrew sent in his video audition first, then Ben sent in his.

"I saw it last year on Thanksgiving on TV and then I looked it up and thought I would do it. I made a video, sent it in, and then they sent me a letter saying I was accepted," Andrew said.

Ben said, "I was kind of nervous because I didn't know if they would take two people from the same school or even the same county but luckily we both got in."

They're both headed to New York City.

Andrew said, "Flying in the Saturday before, touring New York and they're showing us all the stuff and then we leave on the Friday after Thanksgiving."

Ben said, "That's going to be the first time I've ever flown on a plane before."

They've already started practicing the music.

"Moves Like Jagger. That's what we're going to me marching to and towards the end of the parade when we stop and perform for the TV and everything we'll be playing some song called Lazy River," Ben said.

The band director said, "We've been trying to do Macy's for a long time and for them to get to do something like that, especially Andrew's senior year and Ben's junior year, it's going to be really a food experience for them."

The drummers will miss turkey drumsticks with their families for Thanksgiving dinner.

"I told me mom to make me a plate and save it for me," Andrew said.

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