JMU Marching Band Practices for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

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HARRISONBURG -- The James Madison University Marching Dukes are headed to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Practice for the big performance is underway.

"Well we're getting ready for the 2013 Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade. This will be our third time in the parade, we went for the first time in 2001, second time in 2008, and this will be our third appearance on the 20th of November," said band director, Scott Rikkers. "There are two college bands in the parade, and we are marching 485, we're probably one of the largest college bands in the country, which we're very proud of but we're going because we really want to represent James Madison University. What we're just trying to do is create the best, most entertaining performance for the audience, and also again to represent the quality of our program and the school so that's what we focus on, and bottom line, the kids are going to have a great time," added Rikkers.

"No one who's a member of the band right now was there in 2008 so we're all ready excited for the opportunity to go and not just play in the parade but represent JMU on a national stage," said Alex Zuber, Drum Major. "We're all really excited, and I think that excitement is going to fuel the preparedness."

"It's been a very busy season but, yeah, we're really putting our focus here on Macy's for the next three weeks until we head out Thanksgiving," said Assistant Director J.R. Snow. "I've been as a kid many times growing up in New York, so it's going to be really fascinatng to be on the other side of the experience."