Union High School Renegade Regiment Performs In Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

Beverly Cantrell - November 26, 2021 1:26 pm

Tulsa Union High School – New York

Union’s Renegade Regiment marching band is celebrating a job well done after performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Students say marching through the streets of New York City and playing in front of millions is slightly different than storming the field for some Friday night football.

Millions tuned in as the sound of students’ instruments ricocheted off the New York City skyline.

After enduring a 2 a.m. call time and a 2.5-mile march, Union’s Renegade Regiment is starting to understand why they call it the city that never sleeps.

“A little bit tired. My feet are a little bit tired, but it was so worth it. It was incredible,” said Destiny Reyes, Senior Drum Major and flute player.

Reyes is one of 185 Union High Schoolers who marched in front of millions Thursday morning in the 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Tulsa Union Renegade Regiment Marching Band at paractice November 18, 2021 before the parade.

“It was really loud, but it was so awesome to see people all around us, cheering us on. We even saw people from Union and Tulsa, Oklahoma on either side of us,” said Reyes.

Reyes said the energy was unmatched and the atmosphere, electric.

“We were singing along with our band while they were playing the tunes,” said Reyes.

This time last year the parade was virtual, and we couldn’t gather for fellowship, but fast forward, and the nation’s singing to a different tune.

Tulsa Union Renegade Regiment Marching Band in New York November 25, 2021

Band Director Charles Pisarra said the performance was just the cherry on top. This week, students got to visit landmarks that, before, they’d only read about in social studies. They played in Central Park, for the hotel staff, and tonight, the band is enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner cruise while feasting with 400.

“Obviously very, very proud of all their hard work and then just super excited for them to experience all the magic of being here in New York to perform their music,” said Pisarra.

The band was last seen in the parade in 2013 and when Pissara was the percussion director.

“Definitely more responsibility this time around. But it’s just as thrilling. Just as much fun. Just as exhilarating,” said Pisarra.

Pisarra said he’s super thankful for the community’s support and was excited to do a little more sightseeing before getting back on the buses for the 27-hour drive home.


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