Members of the Chapel Hill High School Choral Department toughed out two 10-hour bus rides, early morning wake-up calls and a practice schedule befitting a professional dance troupe during their trip to New York City, where they performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"It was really tiring, but it was quite an experience," said junior Hallie Zook. "I've always seen the parade on television, but to be in it was a different thing."
The almost 100-member choral department arrived in New York City on Tuesday afternoon.
They were just in time for rehearsal with John Jacobson, president of America Sings!, the nonprofit service agency that invited the choir to perform in this year's parade.
"We got there at 3:30 on Tuesday in time to check into our hotel," Zook said. "Then we went to rehearsal for six hours."
Ann Huff, director of the group, said it was a thrilling trip and a great experience for the students.
"I liked this trip because the students had to rehearse like any professional would," she said. "The directors expected very professional things of them."
Less than 48 hours later, they were performing in the heart of Manhattan, accompanied by nearly 1,000 members of high school choruses from across the United States.
"We all went down to Herald Square in front of Macy's and did `We Believe in the Music,' - that was our big, televised, choreographed spot," said junior Ned Malone. "Then we went on the subway to 81st Street and joined the parade."