Jenna Diem takes opportunity of a lifetime


submitted by Jenna Diem

Diem stands for a picture with the marching band banner.

On Thanksgiving, Jenna Diem marched with the 14th annual Macy’s Great American Marching Band in New York City. 185 students made up the marching band including Diem, who played the mellophone.

Diem, a junior and former drum major, said that her experience was surreal. She said that the parade was incredible to perform in, and the band’s energy was insane.

Diem said she submitted a video audition during March of this year. She submitted a solo piece and a video of her marching. She was judged on her technical proficiency, range, tone quality, and general musicianship. After viewing her audition pieces, the Macy’s Great American Marching Band staff selected Diem to participate.

The marching band had three days to put everything together for their TV performance, which Diem said left no time for messing around. She said it was hard to transition to a completely new dynamic from what she is used to at the high school. Even though the transition was hard, Diem said she learned a valuable lesson.

I learned to stay completely forced, Diem said, because she knew she had to be at the top of her game at all times. She said she tends to daydream during band or choir, but she knew that she would regret being anything less than her best.

When thinking about auditioning next year, Diem said she doesn’t believe she will.

“I automatically return to the band next year if I choose to participate again. As of now, I don’t plan on going back. I see my opportunity of being in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as being a ‘once in a lifetime’ event,” Diem said.

Although she said her plans can change, Diem does not want to go back next year with the same expectations and be disappointed.

She said the only thing she would do differently is to put herself out there more. She said she would realize that everyone felt the same way she did, no matter if they showed it or not.

As for where she is headed next, Diem said she plans on attending college for music. She said she has big dreams from playing in the pit band on Broadway to creating and teaching music in whatever community she ends up in.

“By participating in Band and Choir, I have been given amazing opportunities that have given me the best of friends and amazing memories. In the future, I want to be able to give that back and impact people in the same way,” Diem said.

Even though she isn’t sure where she is headed next, Diem is dreaming big and reaching for the stars.