By Sue Curry Jones
Musical talent abounds in the Ava school district, and this year, three outstanding members of the Ava High School marching band program “made the cut,” as they have been chosen to perform with the Great All-American Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the world’s largest parade.
Successfully vying against high school band students from all across the nation, Madison Curtis, Calista Giorgianni, and Belle Giorgianni, were recently notified they were selected to perform in the long-standing tradition and Thanksgiving Day event.
The girls auditioned for a position earlier in the year by submitting an audio-video performance tape, and based upon their individual solo pre-sentation, each girl was selected as a member of the special band.
Applicants are judged according to playing technique, tone quality and level of musical skill.
Madison, a senior at Ava High School, plays the clarinet; Calista, a junior, alto sax; and Belle, a senior, plays the clarinet in marching band, but during orchestra season plays the oboe.
This coming fall, one week before the parade event, all three girls will fly to New Jersey/New York, along with chaperones Ava R-I band directors, Sarah and Chris Sacco. And, over the course of that week, as members of the Great All-American Marching Band come together, the girls will participate in a regimented schedule of daily practice, with the task of committing a new routine and music to memory –– all for the television performance at Macy’s Herald Square, in New York City.
According to the girls, the all-day rehearsal sessions will be held in the lower level of an indoor soccer field.
The Macy’s Great American Marching Band is comprised of top quality student musicians from across the United States. The band is under the direction of Dr. Richard Good of Auburn University, and he is assisted by music educators and guard staff from across the country. The marching band is comprised of approximately 185 high schoolers, and a color guard of 40 dancers and flag bearers.
The girls have already received an instructional packet about the trip, as well as the musical score they need to memorize. But in the meantime, they are also attending summer band camp and gearing up for the fall marching band competitions in our school district. This year Ava’s marching band program centers around the literary piece, The Ugly Duckling, and the story of a homely little bird that suffers ridicule, but one day blossoms into a beautiful bird. A well-known fairy tale that closely relates to life, and bullying.
While in the New York area, the girls will have some free time and the opportunity to sight-see and possibly attend a Broadway show. They will be staying approximately 12 miles from Manhattan, in a nearby Hilton Hotel, and they are truly excited about the opportunity to see the City and experience new things. Madison commented, “This is something I’ve seen on television my whole life, and now I get to be a part of it.”
Fundraising efforts for the trip are now underway, with the Heart of the Ozarks Fourth of July celebration their next venture for raising money. At the event, the girls will be working two booths –– one offering games, and the other selling snap jewelry.
All three girls are passionate about music, and have plans to pursue pro-fessional aspirations. Madison plans to pursue music education as a band director. Calista is interested in a career in music therapy, and Belle’s focus centers around music and the theater.
Madison, Calista, and Belle make it easy to see that the art of music is not just a passing fad or a fun thing to do, for them, music is an impassioned interest that offers an exciting future –– especially on Thanksgiving Day when they live their dream and march with the Great All-American Band in the Macy’s Day Parade.
A wonderful day, indeed.