By LINDSAY CAREY
A recent Southington High School graduate will be participating in New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
Bryson Teel, a 2013 graduate, will be marching with Drum Corp International. Teel started drumming when he was 9, but really began to take marching band seriously when he joined the marching band at SHS.
“I wanted to take marching band the farthest that I could and that led me to drum corps,” said Teel.
After hearing about DCI through a friend, Teel was compelled to join during his sophomore year in high school. Upon auditioning and being accepted, Teel participated in Drum Corps every summer for three years.
“Drum Corps is about the epitome of excellence in a marching band,” said Teel.
This past summer, he and his friend moved on to join Madison Scouts, a DCI marching band group.
According to Teel, the Madison Scouts parade committee applied to participate in the Macy’s Day Parade and it took some time before the group accepted the invitation.
“It’s been an idea for a while,” said Teel. “They announced we were actually going to do it at the DCI finals in 2013.”
Teel will now be marching in one of the biggest parades in the year, where his group will be playing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” along the parade route and a mash-up of “Joy to the World” and Pharell’s popular hit song “Happy” for the televised broadcast.
“We started preparing over the summer,” said Teel. “We had one rehearsal and as members we’re expected to practice on our own.”
According to Teel, the performance for the Macy’s Day Parade includes both alumni and current members of the Madison Scouts. The entire group had one mock parade rehearsal on a football field in Madison, Wisc., where the group is based. There have been rehearsals since then in Madison, but the true magic will be when the entire group comes together again after having practiced individually for the last couple of months.
According to Teel, the SHS Marching Band truly prepared him for his experience with Drum Corp.
“Marching band provides you with the basics to be a part of drum corp, it’s interesting how much they teach you,” said Teel. “The fact that the SHS Marching Band is so successful lately proves that they provide a good foundation.”
Teel said Drum Corps can be extremely rigorous and that only a select few people can handle the criticism that comes with it.
“You have to be mentally and physically engaged to do the things that Drum Corps calls for,” said Teel, who is looking forward to the Macy’s Day Parade.
He said he’s excited that his distant relatives, who aren’t always able to see him drum, will be able to tune in
“This is such a worth-while experience. I watch the parade every year,” said Teel. “One day I’ll be able to tell my kids and show them the video.”
Teel is currently studying Audio and Music Production, which includes percussion, at Western Connecticut State University.
By LINDSAY CAREY