Shaler Area’s Mr. Albert marches in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Mr. Albert lines up for the start of the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Mr. Albert lines up for the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
submitted by Mr. Albert

On November 23, 2023, Shaler Area saw a familiar face at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Shaler Area elementary school band teacher Mr. Scott Albert, along with six other Pittsburgh-area band directors, marched alongside each other. He has been playing music all of his life, but he has not gotten to march in a parade in a long time.

“I have played and marched through high school and college for a total of nine years. After college, when I started teaching, I either directed bands, assisted, or was a clinician throughout my career,” Mr. Albert said.

The Saluting America’s Band Directors allowed people to register for a shot at being part of the parade by filling out questions about your musical experience, the school you teach at, and any outside of school activities. They had done an event before this for the Rose Bowl, and though Albert only expected them to bring in returning musicians, he took his shot at marching.

“I never thought I would be picked to participate in this group. My expectation was that the group would take most of the returning directors who marched in the Rose Bowl parade. When I received the notification that I was accepted, I was surprised and shocked to be selected into the group,” Mr. Albert said.

Through the Saluting America’s Band Directors program, 400 band directors across the country came together at New York City’s Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The band directors were advised to get to bed early on Wednesday night because they had to report to the buses as early as two in the morning on Thanksgiving.

Mr. Scott Albert marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I was actually up at 12:30 a.m. and our call time to be on our bus was 1:30 a.m.. I realize most people would think that is so early to be up, but the atmosphere of Herald Square in Macy’s at 3:10 a.m. rehearsal was stunning,” Mr. Albert said.

Although there were some extreme hours on Thanksgiving, their regular days consisted of early practice hours and some more exciting things afterwards, like appearing on FOX and Friends, a FOX News TV program.

“My typical day was a four-hour morning rehearsal followed by lunch. Then there were scheduled afternoon performances and evening sightseeing,” Albert said.

It was an amazing experience for Mr. Albert. This opportunity wasn’t just music; he got to see landmarks in New Jersey and New York City, along with musical performances and the National September 11 Memorial. 

The New York City community gave a warm welcome and even showed up to their early morning practice on Thanksgiving to get a preview of the show. 

“When we warmed up that morning for our dress rehearsal, I was amazed how many people that live right there were up and watching us rehearse,” Mr. Albert said.

The overall experience was enjoyable and Albert made lifelong memories and friendships.

“I would 100 percent do this again. The experience of getting to be a band kid again was awesome. That is what it felt like to me when I participated. I made new friends with other band directors from around the country from the states of California, Georgia, and Alaska,” Mr. Albert said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Oracle intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our school standards of Pride, Respect and Honor. Any criticism is welcome but should respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as hurtful or libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards before publication. The Oracle does not allow anonymous comments, and The Oracle requires submission a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments, if needed.
All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *