Jacob Arche will have an extra helping of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving when he helps lead a marching band in a nationally televised parade.
Arche, a senior at Sterling Heights High School, will be a drum major for a marching band participating in the 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when it hits the streets of New York City Nov. 28. The Sterling Heights City Council honored him for the achievement at a Sept. 17 meeting.
While this is the first time Arche has ever performed in the parade, he said that it is not the first time he has ever performed in New York City.
“I’ve actually been there every year the past three years,” he said. “I have family that lives there, and in our sophomore year, we ended up there for a band trip.”
Next month, Arche is planning to be a drum major in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band. The band will feature 185 high school band musicians from across the country, as well as around 40 dancers and flag bearers. The band has been playing at the event since 2006.
Arche, 17, of Sterling Heights, explained that the opportunity to join the band happened when he attended a drum major camp at Eastern Illinois University in July. The clinic’s director, Barry Houser, is also the director of the Marching Illini at the University of Illinois and helps direct the Macy’s band.
After the camp split up into two sections, Houser reportedly picked one person from each section to be a Macy’s drum major based on skill, work ethic, attitude and more. One of those selected individuals was Arche.
“To be honest, I was kind of speechless when he asked me,” Arche said. “I just kind of shook my head and smiled.”
Arche has consistently been a part of the band program at Sterling Heights High School. While he can play the French horn, he currently is a drum major in that marching band, too.
One of his responsibilities is leading the band as it enters the field.
“We conduct them through their performance, and we lead them off the field afterwards,” he explained. “We serve as positive role models at practices and at school. … We basically are there as a friend and to lend a helping hand.”
Arche plans to continue to pursue band at the University of Michigan next year, where he intends to study premedicine and minor in music.
“Band is something that I’ve really been a huge part of since I started it,” he said. “Continuing it in college is just something that is common sense for me. … To just stop doing band after doing high school would just be really empty.”
Anthony Imbrunone, director of bands at Sterling Heights High School, said he has known Arche since he was in middle school. Imbrunone described Arche as humble, and expects him to represent his high school and city well.
“He is a hard worker,” he said. “Anything that he has gotten, he has had to work for. Nothing has been handed to him, and he is a very well-rounded student with academics and athletics and the arts.”
Learn more about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at www.macys.com/parade.