Rider student to perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Jordan Tolleson is pictured in an undated photo.
Jordan Tolleson is pictured in an undated photo.(KAUZ)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 7:11 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Those tuning into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade should look out for a familiar face.

Jordan Tolleson will represent Wichita Falls as she plays in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in November, wearing a uniform with TEXAS spelled in sparkling letters across the back.

“I am so excited, I always remember watching the parade when I was a little kid so I am really excited to be a part of that this year,” Tolleson said.

As a junior at Rider High School, Tolleson became the first person from Wichita Falls to be chosen for the honor when she was selected in the very first round of auditions; one other Rider student has since been selected as well. Students nominated by their band directors could submit videos starting on Jan. 15.

“I kind of did it on a whim when my director nominated me, but I was notified on February 28 that I actually made it in,” Tolleson said.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is world-famous for being a uniquely American pageant. Around 40 dancers with flags will spin around Tolleson as she marches with the retail giant’s band, which is hand-picked from 185 of “America’s finest high school musicians” from around the country. As she marches between floats and massive floating balloons, Tollett will pass by three million spectators and be watched by more than 50 million viewers.

“It is such an honor to be chosen for such a legendary group,” Tolleson said.

Tolleson’s selection came as no surprise for her family, who said her love for music has spanned her entire life. After a not-so-perfect start with the violin, she found a better match in another instrument.

“I switched to the trombone in sixth grade and smooth sailing from there,” Tolleson laughed.

Her passion for the instrument goes beyond just marching band. Tolleson also plays the tenor trombone in the more formal setting of the Wichita Falls symphony orchestra.

The journey to New York will be Jordan’s first time traveling alone so far from home, but her plans aren’t yet set in stone. While the Macy’s band financially covers meals, lodging and sightseeing for the students, the participant package does not include the cost of transportation. Tolleson’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the flights and other travel expenses.

Make sure to check back in on Jordan’s journey as we near the November parade.

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