Diem set to play in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

Zak Lantz
Staff Writer

Many have watched the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television — far fewer have had the opportunity to be an active participant in the parade. But for Punxsutawney Area High School’s Jenna Diem, that dream is becoming a reality this coming week, as she’ll be participating in the Macy's Great American Marching Band and will be performing with 200-plus students from across the country during Thursday’s parade.

Diem received the news earlier this year that she’d been accepted to take part in this prestigious group after putting in the legwork that’s associated with applying. “On their website, they have a lot of details, and I had to perform an audition that showed my range on my instrument and my different strengths on it,” she said. “Then, I had to include a marching piece, where I marched to several different box drill commands to show that I could march with my instrument while playing it.” She added that the piece had to be four minutes long and demonstrate ranges from high to low.

Anyone in grades 9 through 12 was eligible for the Macy’s Great American Marching Band through the application process, but across the entire country, the number selected to participate was only around 200 students.

And so, whether you’re a seasoned veteran who traditionally watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or who one who’s just tuning in for a local connection this year, keep an eye out for Jenna and her mellophone on Thursday.