The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

The #1 source for news for Dominion High School students and the Dominion High School community in Sterling, VA

DHS Press

Titan Musician Walks with The Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Evitt played his primary instrument, the clarinet, in the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. (photo courtesy of Anderson Evitt)

Aspiring professional musician, senior Anderson Evitt, started his Thanksgiving morning at 1:00 A.M. to march in the 97th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, playing the clarinet alongside other high school musicians. The parade route was two and a half miles starting in the Upper West Side and continuing down Sixth Avenue and included a one and a half minute long TV performance in Herald Square.

Evitt auditioned for the Great American Marching Band in February 2023 via a video audition consisting of a marching sample, a scale and a prepared piece. “I was watching [the parade] last year, and I was like, ‘I wonder what I have to actually do to do this’,” Evitt said. 

According to Evitt’s band director, Ryan Rowles, Evitt pursued this opportunity on his own and didn’t reveal to Rowles or his chorus teacher that he had auditioned until after he was accepted. “I was surprised, but then overjoyed with happiness because he is the exact person that deserves that kind of opportunity to be in a nationally, probably even internationally, recognized parade, playing the instrument that he loves and surrounded by people who have the same level of interest as him,” Rowles said.

Evitt with Johnny Walker (right), clarinet instructor with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. (photo courtesy of Anderson Evitt)

Preparations began a month prior to the parade when music was first sent out, and a week before, four hour long in-person rehearsals began according to Evitt. “The parade itself was really fun. It was just kind of weird, like, seeing 3 million people is strange. You know?” Evitt said.

According to Evitt, the band played “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffet. “I think Buffett was more fun to play, but Sweet Caroline is always nice… And often New Yorkers would sing along and it’s fun, you know?” Evitt said.

Evitt’s musical career began with the piano in third grade but music took a place in his life when he started playing the saxophone and clarinet in middle school. “He’s really, really diligent and takes music very seriously. He knew from a very young age, I’d say probably like in eighth grade, he knew that he wanted to do music for the rest of his life in some capacity. So he’s just really, really strong minded and he has a really great vision for what he wants, and he does a really great job of making sure that that happens,” Rowles said.

Band members were primarily juniors and seniors in high school. (photo courtesy of Anderson Evitt)

Evitt has participated in a variety of audition-only opportunities throughout middle and high school including the Virginia Winds Academy, spending a summer at musical academy Interlochen in 2022, Governor’s School in 2021, and most recently spent a month at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony. “I’d say his time management and organization skills are setting him up to be really, really successful,” Rowles said. 

According to Rowles, Evitt also holds an interest in musical theater and has performed in the orchestra in various school productions at Seneca Ridge and Dominion. “He found out that he loved the idea of being able to play multiple instruments in one performance, so I hope that Anderson finds a way where he’s able to use all of his musical skills on various instruments but then also gets to perform in a professional group on his main instrument, which will be clarinet,” Rowles said.

“He is probably one of the hardest working students—no, I will change that—Anderson is the hardest working student I’ve ever had,” Rowles said.

“[The] hardest part is auditioning, and not even auditioning, [but] just like getting yourself in the frame of mind to actually audition. It’s easy to just kind of look at opportunities and blow them off, but if you sit down and you actually decide you want to do it, you just gotta go for it and see what happens,” Evitt said.

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About the Contributor
Lilly Cameron
Lilly Cameron, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Lilly Cameron is Co-Editor-in-Chief and first began writing for DHS Press in 2020 during her freshman year. She enjoys journalism because it allows her to stay connected to the school and primarily writes news pieces, feature stories, and theater reviews. When she is not writing articles or in dance rehearsals, Lilly enjoys watching the newest movies along with her fair share of comfort films.

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