The Carmel High School Marching Band got a special surprise May 11.
Wesley Whatley, creative producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and head of the parade’s band selection committee, announced CHS has been invited to participate in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Carmel High School has one of the finest high school music programs in the country both on and off the marching field,” Whatley said.
Whatley said Carmel gets excellent support from parents, administration and alumni to build a great foundation.
“What they put on the field is extraordinary from a quality perspective,” he said. “They put incredibly entertaining products on the field year after year after year. I think that’s one of the things that makes Carmel so special. It’s not like one year they are fantastic and they come to the Macy’s Parade. We’re recognizing a legacy of commitment to musical excellence in Carmel. They are fantastic on the marching field and just as excellent on the concert band field. They are excellent in the classroom as well.”
Whatley said Carmel was selected from a field show tape of its 2019 performance and CHS band director Chris Kreke was informed in 2020. Then all announcements were put on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Whatley said. Only New York area bands participated in the 2020 parade.
“So Chris has been keeping this secret for a year,” Whatley said.
School officials arranged for the band members to gather to hear the announcement.
CHS was selected as one of nine bands, six high school and three college bands, from approximately 100 nationwide applicants to take part in the 96th annual holiday parade.
This will be the second appearance for the CHS band as it previously performed in the 2011 parade.
“When a band is in our show, we ask them to wait five years to reapply,” Whatley said.
This story will be updated.