Clovis North Marching Band Returns From Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Clovis North Marching Band performed in front of millions in New York City at the 96th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo used with permission of the Clovis Unified School District)

Thursday, November 25th on Thanksgiving Day, the Clovis North High School Marching Band did not celebrate the holiday at home, but rather on the opposite side of the nation.

Playing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time ever, the Clovis North Marching Band had been preparing for this moment for quite some time. 

While across the country, viewers got to watch the performance on live television, many fans and family members of the Marching Band made the voyage to New York City to watch the event firsthand. In addition to thirteen chaperones specifically there with the band, around 250 friends and family made the trip on their own to watch live. 

Clovis North Marching Band Director David Lesser stated that the atmosphere of the parade was “amazing and electrifying,” and that the amount of people present at the parade was something that no amount of preparation could make him or the band truly prepare for. 

“There was way more than I was prepared for, even though they had said that there would be millions of people there, I just wasn’t ready for what that actually looked like.”

Lesser believed that the band, no matter the amount of spectators, played excellent and that his students didn’t seem to be as phased. “One student said it was the ‘Coolest moment’ of their whole life, and that was sort of the consensus [among the rest]…They said it was worth all the work, it was a great trip, they were so happy to get to do all the things that we did.”

Being the first band director at Clovis North, and beginning the Marching Band Program in 2007, Lesser believes that the “standard of excellence and high standards” that remains at Clovis Unified helped in his aspiration and lifelong dream to take a band to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

“It was twenty-two years of really hard work and swimming upstream, and really not taking ‘No’ for an answer…I’ve had some tremendous mentors, and those guys had really high expectations. I learned the importance of excellence and having high standards.”

Lesser continued by relating this to the expectations he puts on his students. “Working with my students to teach them about high standards and we got lucky when we got selected, and I’m pretty proud of all that our students do.” Dignity and honor flowed through Lesser’s voice as he spoke about his students. 

Finally, the Clovis North Marching Band Director took the time to thank those who have supported the band and their efforts throughout the years, and especially those who traveled with the band all the way across the nation. 

“I just want to thank the whole community. While we were out there I was getting lots of texts and emails and phone calls…When I got back, our choir director said you were seeing ‘Clovis North Band’ everywhere for the whole week. It just felt like the whole community was rallying around all the kids and the group.”

That they were there, and now the 2022 Clovis North Marching Band will forever be enshrined as a band that had the opportunity to participate in such a moment as this. 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.