A member of the Jacksonville Marching Band may be on your TV this Thanksgiving.
JHS Senior Drum Major Lorissa Gertz has been selected to appear in Macy’s Great American Marching Band for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 25th.
Gertz says she was encouraged to audition after attending the Smith Walbridge Drum Major Camp this summer. Auditions were handled through an online application, plus a 3-to-6-minute-long YouTube video audition.
Gertz says she’s been practicing to be ready to go next month: “I have to get my music first. They have yet to send me my music, but I have been practicing on that. We are going to do a lot of marching in the parade. I think 3 miles is the whole length of the parade, so I’ve just been working on my technique right now.”
Gertz says that getting accepted was a surprise for her and her family: “It was a really big honor just to be able to audition. It was kind of a joke in my family, ‘So if you make it, we all get a vacation to New York City.’ Well, I made it so we are all going to go to New York City, which is exciting. Actually, there is training before the parade, so we are going to fly out on [November] 20th.”
Gertz says she will be custom fit for the GAMB uniform to march in the parade. She says that Macy’s will also give members of the group a tour of New York City to see a couple of Broadway shows and eat at a couple of well-known restaurants as a part of being selected. Gertz says she’s extremely excited to be a part of the Great American Marching Band and is proud to represent Jacksonville.
Gertz is the daughter of Monica and Casey Hummer of Jacksonville. In addition to marching band, she’s also involved with orchestra and theater, and is a member of the National Honor Society and National English Honor Society at JHS, according to The Source. In the community, she’s involved with a Jacksonville youth committee and her church. After graduating, she plans on attending Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in anesthesiology.
Gertz is attempting to raise $5,000 ahead of her trip to help fund housing, uniforms, food, and other travel expenses. You can visit this link on GoFundMe to contribute She is currently up to $840. Gertz says any extra funds to help her to appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 25th would be greatly appreciated.