For a second time, the University of Louisiana's 'Pride of Acadiana' marching band has been selected to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. UL was selected as one of only 11 bands nationwide for the 2012 parade.

The Marching Band made its Macy's debut in 2005.

"We made the announcement Friday night at the Symphonic Winds Concert," explained Dr. Brian Taylor, Director of the UL Marching Band. "We sent in an application, and the people from the Macy's Special Events Department were there to make the announcement.

"It was a surprise. They said over 150 bands had applied for 11 spots, and only two colleges made the cut. UL was one of the two."

Taylor reminisced about the 2005 appearance in the legendary parade. "It was a fantastic trip, to perform in so many famous places, to be treated so well all along the parade route, with all the people cheering us on. It was just wonderful experience."

Wesley Wattley was at the concert Friday night, representing Macy's. He noted that the parade is viewed by over 45 million people on television, second only to the Superbowl.

This appearance will greatly enhance UL's marching band, and from it, the School of Music. Dr. Taylor notes, "I'm expecting this to help us in recruiting. Last year we jumped by 40 members, next year we'll gain about 20 more. We expect to be at 300 members by 2012 for the trip to New York."

That increase in numbers also means an increase in costs, however. "We will be doing some fundraisers to go up there," Taylor said. "It will cost about $1,000 per student to go, so we will need about $300-360,000. But it's not until 2012, so we have next year to raise money."

An account for the trip is being setting up with the UL Foundation. In the meantime, donations can be made to the UL Foundation for the Pride of Acadiana Fund, account #16835, with the designation for the Macy's Day Parade trip. The mailing address is:
   UL Foundation
   PO Box 44290
   Lafayette, LA 70504-4290

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