Gardner South Wilmington Band Director Marches in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

     Gardner South Wilmington High School band director Michael Leone performed with over 400 other band directors from across all 50 states and Mexico in New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  He showcased his musical talents by playing the trumpet.
     He spent four days prior to the parade in New York City rehearsing to prepare for the performance.  Along with performing in the parade, the ensemble also performed at a wreath laying ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial honoring first responders.
     Under the theme, “America’s Band Directors: We teach me.  We teach life.”  This project aims to honor the extraordinary dedication and achievements of music educators.  These educators have collectively mentored and inspired hundreds of thousands of students, instilling not only their love of music, but valuable life lessons.
     When asked about his experience, Leone said,  “It was an honor to be selected to represent Gardner, South Wilmington, Braceville, and the great state of Illinois.  This experience was life changing.”
Continuing he said, “As a band director, I get excited for my students all the time when they have a big performance, but I had forgotten what it was like to be excited as a performer myself.”
He added that it was nice to remember what it was like to be a band kid again and at such an amazing national event.
     “I hope our performance inspires students and directors alike to continue pursuing their musical passions.  Thank you to everyone who supported me to make this once in a lifetime trip possible.”