Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to feature Colorado Springs high school student

Nov. 23—Jamie Canzier won't be watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV this year, an annual tradition she's enjoyed for some time. Instead, the Colorado Springs resident is slated to perform in it.

Canzier, an Air Academy High School senior, will play piccolo as a part of the Macy's Great American Marching Band in the 11 a.m. hour timeslot on Thursday.

"It was kind of unexpected," Canzier said, "but if you go for what you really want, you can achieve it."

The process began with a 10-minute audition video, though one could argue it really started when she picked up a flute for the first time in the fourth grade. The video required Canzier to march in time and perform a solo, the latter of which was especially challenging, she said.

A few weeks later, she received an email notifying her that she'd been selected. Her mother, Katy, was the first to read the letter while Jamie was in class.

"When she finally answered me she thought I was messing with her," Katy Canzier wrote in an email. "I couldn't have been more proud of her and couldn't wait to tell everyone I knew."

Canzier's parents accompanied her to New York on Saturday, where a full itinerary awaited them. Between the hours-long rehearsals and early wakeup calls — as early as 1 a.m. some days — they've found plenty of time to explore the city with Broadway plays, shopping in Times Square and sight-seeing from Top of the Rock. The trip marks Canzier's first time in New York City.

"It looks like how it looks on TV. That's one thing that can be confirmed," Canzier said. "Only a lot more people."

Macy's Great American Marching Band will perform Christmas classics as it marches down the city. And according to Canzier, this group could be one of the best yet. Their band director decided to move Wednesday's rehearsal back an hour because they were performing so well in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

"They said it's very, very rare, that this is the first time that that's happened," Canzier said. "So we're doing something right."