Trabuco Hills High marching band to perform in 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Trabuco Hills High School Thundering Mustangs Marching Unit has been invited to perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Performers from the Mission Viejo campus were stunned by the surprise announcement, which came Thursday night during a Saddleback Valley Unified School District concert that turned into a jubilant celebration-slash-confetti-storm. Making their first-ever appearance, Trabuco Hills will field one of nine marching bands at the 94th annual parade after being picked from a pool of more than 100 applicants.

Students celebrate with confetti
The Thundering Mustangs from Trabuco Hills High School celebrate after learning they were picked to perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Watching the iconic holiday spectacle on TV is one thing. It will be quite another to walk among the character balloons, clowns and big-name entertainers sharing the two-mile parade route in New York City.

“These hard-working students are excited to showcase their immense skills and talents to a national audience at the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Andy Julian, Trabuco Hills’ instrumental music director.

Each year, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee seeks out bands that have the stage presence, musical talents and marching abilities to captivate more than 3.5 million live spectators and 50 million-plus viewers.

The Trabuco Hills squad didn’t participate in a live audition, making the announcement all the more surprising. But they certainly had the right resume for the job, having earned ten class championships and a 2017 appearance at the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

“Establishing themselves as one of the premiere units in the state of California, the Trabuco Hills High School Thundering Mustangs consistently deliver exciting, highly-theatrical performances year after year on the marching field,” said Wesley Whatley, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade creative producer.

Student-performers and staff will spend the next 20 or so months getting ready for the appearance, carving out time for planning, rehearsals and creative fundraisers.

“It’s going to be nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time,” Trabuco Hills Corps Director Quincy Nguyen told the Orange County Register, which posted a story on its website.