MSU Alumnus Leads High School Marching Band in Macy’s Day Parade

David Rogers’ 192-member band joins select group of national caliber.

The Walled Lake Central High School Marching Band performed Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird” at the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A marching band directed by an alumnus of the MSU College of Music was one of just six high school bands selected to march in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

David Rogers (B.A. ’95, M.A. ’02) led the Walled Lake Central High School band in the fabled parade that is seen by more than 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million TV viewers. The 192-member Viking Marching Band was selected from 175 applicants and was the only band from Michigan.

“The Macy’s parade is one of the biggies like the Rose Parade,” Rogers says. “It was the experience of a lifetime. I couldn’t be prouder of the community for helping us get there and for our kids to rising to the occasion.”

The 192-member band from Walled Lake, Mich. is directed by David Rodgers.
The Viking Marching Band was selected from 175 applicants and was the only band from Michigan.

Rogers says he was equally proud to be representing the high school as well as the entire state of Michigan. He shouted out to his alma mater, citing MSU Director of Spartan Marching Band John Madden, retired Professor Emeritus and retired Director of MSU Bands John Whitwell, and former faculty member and Associate Professor of Horn Janine Gaboury as major forces who helped shape his career.

“Without the kind of support and pushing and faith placed in me by MSU, I don’t know where I’d be today,” says Rogers. “MSU was the cornerstone of my growth and is a big part of who I am.”

Rogers holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from MSU where he studied music education and wind conducting, marched in the Spartan Marching Band, and served as a graduate assistant to the University bands. He has been the director of bands at Walled Lake Central High School since 1995, and took a one-year leave in 2000 to pursue his master’s degree in music wind conducting from MSU. Rogers oversees the entire Walled Lake Central High School band program, including three concert bands, a jazz ensemble, chamber ensembles, two winter drumlines, two winter guards, and the Viking Marching Band.

“I was so proud to hear of the Walled Lake Central Band’s acceptance to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” says John Madden, director of the Spartan Marching Band and associate professor in the College of Music. “The Macy’s Parade is a tough application and it’s very hard to get in to since it’s considered a real feather in the parade world. It did not surprise me, however, as Dave Rogers has consistently done great work in every area of his job. His concert bands are always excellent, and his marching band program is well known as one of the best in the state. Earning the Macy’s Parade is more evidence that he and the Walled Lake Central Bands are building a strong national reputation in the band world.”  

Walled Lake Central Marching Band Macy's 2015 Thanksgiving Day Performance

Video courtesy Homestead High School Music


Macy’s Selection Ceremony

Video courtesy Walled Lake Public Schools

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