Alabama A and M Marching Maroon and White: For the Marching Maroon and White of Alabama A&M University, this Thanksgiving marks a unique experience as they are set to be the sole HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) band featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Carlton Wright, the Director of Bands, expressed the significance of this opportunity for the students, many of whom have never been to New York.
The journey to be part of the parade began in 2021 when Wright saw two familiar bands, Hampton University and the University of Alabama, in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Determined to get his band involved, he initiated the process, and after receiving confirmation, the practice began. The students have been actively involved in choreographing their performance.
Madison Wright, one of the students, shared her excitement, emphasizing the reward of their hard work. Thunder Chiapa-Little echoed the sentiment, expressing the joy of performing in New York as a tourist and the payoff for their consistent efforts during rehearsals.
During a recent rehearsal, Director Wright highlighted that the performance was entirely student-generated, with the staff providing necessary edits to ensure a representation that reflects the university positively. The Marching Maroon and White will have the honor of leading the parade, making them the only HBCU band featured in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Wright reflected on the pride of being in the company of other HBCUs that have participated in the parade in previous years.