Members of the Rushville Industry Marching Band won't be enjoying turkey in the Tri-States this Thanksgiving.
They're heading to the windy city to perform in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago.
You don't think of dance choreography when you think of a marching band. But that's exactly what you notice first as band members with the Rushville-Industry Rockets Marching Band move to the beat of their own drums. Band director Jody Worthington says this signature approach to a field show is what caught the attention of parade organizers in Chicago. And that's got these teenagers practicing constantly for their biggest audience of a half million parade spectators Thanksgiving Day.
Band Director Jody Worthington said, "It's an opportunity for them to march in front of a whole bunch of people and gives them something at the beginning of the year to work for."
These band and drill team members have been practicing for this gig since August. Not only with instruments, but choreography specifically designed for this band. And like any sport, these musicians say it takes practice to nail it.
Marcus Roegge said, "A roll step will kill your ankles if you don't do it right." You have to keep posture."
Sara Layne said, "When you think of band you don't think of it as being stressful. It takes a lot of physical ability."
Julie Stambough, drill team member said, "It's a lot of work. It's all teamwork."
And that teamwork is what's going to keep this group in tune and ready for showtime.
The band was invited to take part in the Thanksgiving day parade after submitting an application and video of last year's field show from the Quincy *Octoberfest* band competition.
In fact you can check them out for yourself during this year's Octoberfest parade and Field show competition coming up at Flinn Stadium October 16.
It takes a lot of coordination and fundraising to pay for the $35 thousand price tag for the trip to Chicago for the more than 100 band and drill team members, as well as their chaperones.
That's why students raised all the money as a band through yard sales, car washes and donations. Band members even spent part of their free time picking corn on a farm to raise funds. But Band Booster club members say community support made this possible.
The McDonald's Thanksgiving Day parade will air on the Chicago's W-G-N America station.