Macy’s Parade staff and Benedict College officials surprised members of the school’s marching band in April with the news that they had been selected from more than 100 applicants nationwide to perform in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Energetic, exciting, and entertaining perfectly describes the Benedict College Marching Tiger Band of Distinction and the incredible sound and spirit they deliver at every single performance,” said Wesley Whatley, creative producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Macy’s is so proud to introduce this incredible group to our parade audience on Thanksgiving morning for their big debut!”
Located in the heart of Columbia, Benedict College is a private, coeducational liberal arts HBCU (Historically Black College and University) founded in 1870. HBCU bands are celebrated for a long tradition of theatrics and style, often incorporating dance moves and an elevated level of choreography into their routines.
“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a quintessential holiday tradition,” says Roslyn Clark Artis, president and CEO of Benedict College. “I can think of no better way to showcase the showmanship, talent, and precision of the Benedict College Tiger Band of Distinction than to watch them march down the streets of New York City on Thanksgiving Day!”
Band Director H. Wade Johnson, an accomplished musician with a master’s degree in jazz education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, believes their marching band is so successful because of what he calls their DO: Discipline and Order. “We do what we do because we are passionate about what we do. Our first objective is to recruit, retain, and graduate these students. We’re now known as ambassadors for Benedict College, and it’s just a wonderful thing.”
To read more about marching bands in the Midlands, turn to page 40.