Around 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Davon Prewitt will be playing the saxophone.
The Columbus High sophomore will be practicing with 184 other high school musicians, chosen from around the country, who are members of Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
The early time is the group’s final rehearsal for its appearance later in the morning in the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City which will be televised from 9 a.m. to noon on NBC-38.
About 3.5 million people are expected to view the parade in person and another 50 million on television.
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Performers in this year’s parade include Kristin Chenoweth, Jimmy Fallon, the cast of Sesame Street, Florida Georgia Line, Goo Goo Dolls, Manheim Steamroller, Kelli Pickler and the Robertson Family from Duck Dynasty.
Overall, there are 8,000 participants.
According to the band’s official itinerary, the band members will board motorcoaches at their hotel at 2:30 a.m. to get to the rehearsal destination.
Following a breakfast at the Hard Rock Café, the band will get ready to march. The band will stop and play in front of Macy’s in Herald Square.
The musicians will be complemented by 40 flags and dancers.
Each state is represented.
Prewitt said he is excited by the experience.
The member of Columbus High’s marching and jazz bands first thought about trying out for the Macy’s band after watching the parade last year. He called its performance, “amazing.”
“Originally, I just auditioned for fun, playing George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” he said.
He sent in an audition tape and about two weeks later, he was stunned when the letter of acceptance arrived.
“The thought of being able to go to New York City and perform in the biggest and most well-known parade in the world was surreal at the time,” he said. “I really thought this band was out of my league.”
Prewitt, who began playing the saxophone five years ago, is one of seven band members from Georgia and the only one from this area.
He arrived in New York on Saturday and said he felt a little “scared” since it was his first time out of the south. He met some of his fellow southerners and that put him at ease.
The band is under the direction of Richard Good, the director of bands at Auburn University. He is assisted by Barry Houser, the director of the marching band at the University of Illinois.
Prewitt, who said he would like to make a career of music, said there has been a lot of practicing with one lasting from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
In the parade, the band will play “Can’t Hold Us” a hit song from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
It has not been all work in New York.
Band members have eaten at places such as Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company, gone sightseeing at places such as the Rockefeller Center and gone shopping in Times Square.
Prewitt said a “most entertaining ride” was riding the escalators in Macy’s, “10 floors up and down.”.
He called a visit to the 9/11 memorial a “somber experience.”
“I look forward to representing our state, city, and my band, the CHS Blue Devil Marching Band,” said Prewitt.