Cavalier Marching Band selected to play Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

CMB will be youngest band to perform in 2015


The Cavalier Marching Band was one of 10 bands selected out of a pool of 175 bands from across the country.

Marshall Bronfin | The Cavalier Daily

The Cavalier Marching Band was selected last week to perform in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The decision was made official when Parade Creative Director Wesley Whatley arrived in Charlottesville last Tuesday and presented CMB Director William Pease with the Macy’s Day drum head — the customary way to give a band a bid to perform in the parade.

With more than 175 bands applying, the CMB was one of 10 distinguished bands selected. The CMB is only 10 years old, and will be the youngest band to perform in 2015. Members of the organization hope the national publicity will put the young band in the spotlight.

“U.Va. has never been selected to participate in the parade before,” said third-year College student Stefani Bell, one of the band’s drum majors. “This band is making history every year, and in 2015, it will be on a national level. The members will definitely being preparing for this parade next season, but everyone who has ever been in the CMB has contributed to the effort to get the band to this point.”

The band had to undergo a lengthy application process to be considered, submitting a cover letter, a formal application, a photo of the band in uniform, a video clip showcasing the band’s football halftime show and sound clips of their performance. Additionally, the band had to submit a résumé which included all of their performances and multiple letters of recommendation.

The 2015-16 members of the CMB will travel to New York City and perform in the parade, playing live in front of more than 3 million people as well as an estimated 50 million television viewers.

“It is absolutely incredible how Dr. Pease has built this band program from the ground up,” Bell said. “Without his hard work, determination and love for the band and his students, there is no way the CMB would this successful in 10 short years.”

Pease has been the University band program’s director since its formation in 2003 and is in charge of the Cavalier Marching Band, wind ensemble and the men’s basketball band. He has taken the band on three international trips to Fiji, Brazil and Costa Rica.

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