Center Grove HS Marching Band Takes on NYC With Verizon Tech

This is a guest post from band booster and parent Holly Kile who headed to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Center Grove High School Marching Band, a group that earned a coveted spot in one of the most-watched parades of the season. Disclosure: She took along some Verizon tech so our super network and latest products could make the trip even more memorable. Here’s what she had to share about the band’s journey:

In my opinion, there aren’t many places more magical around the holidays than New York City. This year, my son – a freshman with the Center Grove High School Marching Band – got the opportunity to travel to NYC to march in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pretty cool, right? I was as excited as he was about the trip. I hadn’t been to New York in ages. Come to think of it, the last time I was there, I was still carrying a pager on my hip (ouch).


Center Grove High School band drums show the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade logo.

This trip was totally different, though. Through connections on Twitter (be sure to follow us at @cghsband), we met up with the cool peeps at Verizon and they offered to let us test out some gear on our trip. We got hooked up with a GoPro Hero 3+ (yes – complete with chest harness and head strap), a Sony Xperia Z2 tablet and a DROID Turbo. I’m a bit of a geek (thus why I manage the social media for the band) so having these tools on hand was a huge bonus to an already cool trip. But did they really make the trip better? Yes. Yes. Yes!

Our bus ride out was a long one (Indiana to NYC is a hike) so the entertainment value alone of the tablet was helpful. The kids and I did some pre-research on the sites and made sure we had the Macy’s Parade app to follow all that was going on there. One of our drum majors practically begged me to be the GoPro guy so he started wearing the headgear and filming our adventure before we even left!


Center Grove High School band members concentrating hard.

Then there was the Turbo. Ah, the Turbo. Can I just say that if the pictures weren’t amazing and the speed phenomenal, then the battery life and super fast charge was totally worth the price of admission. I was snapping pics and posting to Instagram (yep– @cghsband for that one, too!) so fast and often that I didn’t have time to waste on charging batteries, so this was a life saver.


Band members enjoyed seeing the sites in New York City!

All in all, our trip was beyond amazing. We got to march in the parade (did you see us right behind the Red Power Ranger?) and the kids all got a once in a lifetime experience. As a parent – well, let me just say that my pager of the past pales in comparison to how I traveled this time around. Thanks, Verizon!

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