Howdie Kymani Gordon!

Kymani Gordon had an opportunity to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2019.

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By Ashley Wandling, Staff Writer

The Wrangler: When did you first begin band? 

Gordon: I first began band in my 6th grade year at Polly Ryan.

The Wrangler: What inspired you to want to join band?

Gordon: I remember watching the Reading Jr. High School Wind Symphony band coming to my elementary school and performing for us. It was amazing seeing all the different instruments playing in harmony and producing incredible music. From then on, I have wanted to be part of a group that could bring joy to people through music just as the RJHS band did for me.

The Wrangler: How did you know you wanted to play saxophone? 

Gordon: Actually, when I first decided to join band, my heart was set on playing the flute. The reason being that I would be able to sit in the front row of the ensemble and be noticed by the crowd. As silly as this sound, this was another reason why I wanted to join band. How I came to choosing saxophone was from the instrument tryouts held at Polly Ryan before that school year began. I tried three instruments that day: the flute, the trumpet, and the saxophone. Out of all the instruments, only with the saxophone was I capable of making a sound. This experience made me so happy that I knew that the saxophone was the perfect instrument for me.

The Wrangler: What accomplishments have you made this year in band?

Gordon: As of this year I was appointed section leader of the alto saxophone section for marching season. I was also accepted into the TRI-M Music Honors Society. I was awarded an outstanding leadership certificate at this summer’s leadership camp at Texas A&M University-Commerce. I [also] perform[ed] with the Fort bend Symphony Orchestra this 4th of July.

The Wrangler: How long have you wanted to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for?

Gordon: It has only been about 2 or 3 years that I have thought about wanting to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I actually wanted our entire marching band to perform in the parade because I watched how other high school marching band got to perform in the parade, so I thought it would be awesome for us to be on TV marching down the streets of New York.

The Wrangler: How did you apply to get into the BOA band for the parade?

Gordon: The audition process consisted of two parts. In the first part, I needed to perform a solo within 4-7 minutes at most. This was to show my technical proficiency, tone quality, and overall general musicianship. The second part required me to demonstrate my marching fundamentals with horns up, horns down, and marking time. With this, I must perform a box drill while playing one scale at the same time. All this had to submitted through a video and uploaded to YouTube.

The Wrangler: How did you feel when you found out you were going to be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Gordon: My family and I were so elated when we received the news of my acceptance. It had been about fifteen days since I had submitted my audition recordings, so I went and checked my inbox to see if anything Macy’s related had been sent. That day, I found an email from the Macy’s Great American Marching Band Saying, “CONGRATULATIONS! On behalf of Music Festivals and Tours, MACY’S and the 93rd Annual MACY’S Thanksgiving Day Parade, it is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected as a member of the 2019 Macy’s Great American Marching Band.” Once I read that statement aloud to  my parents and brother, they all congratulated me and expressed how proud they were. I could not believe that this was actually happening to me, but I was thankful for my family’s support and encouragement throughout my preparation, especially my mom.

The Wrangler: What was it like marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

Gordon: Marching in the thanksgiving parade was such an amazing experience! It was fascinating to see how big the balloons are in person and seeing  all the people dressed up in their costumes. I actually saw a few famous celebrities that day including Lea Michele, Indiana Menzel, and Jimmy Fallon. As the band marched down the streets, there were moments where we got to sing aloud and I was able to wave at the crowd of people at the side of the road. It is unbelievable how many spectators came out to watch the parade that day. Performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was exciting and definitely one of my favorite moments of the entire trip.

The Wrangler: What was New York like?

Gordon: New York was exactly what I thought it would be and more. There were people at every corner walking up and down the streets, crowding the sidewalks and stores. The buildings were massive, the lights illuminated the streets at night, and the excitement of the city enthralled me. I got to meet some new friends within the band. We explored the city, shopped int he biggest stores, and ate out at amazing restaurants. My first time in New York will be something I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I can’t wait to go back next year.

The Wrangler: What advice would you give for people wanting to accomplish their dreams like you did?

Gordon: My parents taught me that in order to achieve my goals, I must remain faithful in knowing that I already have what it takes to accomplish anything that I want in life. For anyone who want to fulfill their dreams, always remember that you are capable of doing anything that you put your mind to because you already contain the tools needed to succeed.