- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
North Point High School students up early and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday might catch a glimpse of a couple of familiar faces among the Macy’s Great American Marching Band members.
North Point junior Tony Teleky, 17, and freshman Ben Busch, 14, are part of the band, made up of high school students from around the country.
“It’s the best of the best,” said Teleky of the musicians who are selected for the band, which was founded in 2006.
Drummer Teleky, made the band last year too, audition via video, while Busch, an alto saxophone player made all-state band while in eighth grade and received a letter asking if he was interested in a spot.
“Growing up we watched the parade,” said Busch who comes from a musical family including twin brother John, older sister, Bri, and parents, Dan and Kim. “We all play instruments, you watch [bands] on TV and say, ‘I want to do that.’”
Teleky also comes from a musical family.
His father will be marching in the Macy’ parade as well.
Ed Teleky is the drum major and flight chief of the Ceremonial Brass, the United States Air Force Band.
Mom, Heidi and older brother, Nick, a student at Tufts University in Boston will meet up in New York to watch the parade.
While his brother played the piano and sang in the chamber choir at North Point, Teleky followed in his dad’s footsteps by taking up drumming.
“Having every instrument known to mankind in your basement is really awesome,” he said.
Marvin VanDyke, instrumental musical director at North Point, said Teleky and Busch deserve their slots in the band.
“They are exceptionally talented,” he said, adding that he’s likely to watch the parade, even if its saved on a digital video recorder.
The parade starts on 77th Street and Central Park West and travels 2 1/2 miles to the Macy’s store on Herald Square. Last year, the Great American Marching Band led the parade, Teleky said.
Its performance was televised to celebrate the parade’s 85th anniversary.
The band members, who will stay in Teaneck, N.J., have been practicing selections such as Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” and the jazz standard “Lazy River” when they can, but meeting up Nov. 17, the group will practice in the morning through Wednesday, Teleky said, leaving the afternoon free for sightseeing.
A dress rehearsal at 3 a.m. on Nov. 22 is pretty cool, Teleky said. Lights flood the parade route and performers suit up and do a run-through before going to breakfast prior to the big event.
The parade was started by Macy’s employees in 1924 as a Christmas parade and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo.
Three years later, inflatables were debuted with Felix the Cat being the first character featured, according to the Macy’s website. The Mickey Mouse balloon was introduced in 1934.
In 1946, the parade was broadcast locally in New York before being televised nationally the following year.
Now the parade is viewed by 3 million spectators and taken in by 50 million watching the event on television, according to the website.
“It’s a pretty cool thing being in the parade,” Teleky said. “[Spectators] are five people deep. It’s awe inspiring. You look up and see the New Year’s ball, you see everything. It’s a really cool thing being in the parade.”