Benedict College marching band to represent South Carolina in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBCD) — A South Carolina marching band will make a special appearance at the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday.

Hailing from Columbia, 150 members of Benedict College’s Marching Tiger Band of Distinction are in New York City for a series of holiday performances.

“The exuberance is off the Richter scale,” said band director H. Wade Johnson. “Our performance will entail some wonderful songs that I’m sure everyone will understand, everyone will recognize. And the performance itself is going to be epic!”

Johnson said his students have spent months preparing for the performances after going through a selective application process.

Band members practiced for several hours a day, five days a week, perfecting their musical pieces and choreographic movements, Johnson said.

“What we say here, at Benedict College, in terms of our band program – we don’t do it until we get it right, we do it until we cannot get it wrong,” Johnson said.

One of the band members is from the Lowcountry. Regis Wright is from Saint Stephen in Berkeley County and serves as drum major. “He is excited,” said Johnson.

Johnson told News 2 this is the second time a historically black college and university from South Carolina has been selected to participate in the iconic Macy’s parade. He has been an integral part of both of these performances — first, in 1975 as a college sophomore trumpet player with South Carolina State University — and now, in 2022, as Benedict’s director of bands.

After their six-day trip, the marching band will fly back to Columbia on Saturday morning, just in time to cheer on Benedict College’s football team in their championship game. Johnson said the team is undefeated with a record of 11-0.

You can watch the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on News 2 Thursday morning starting at 9 a.m.