Tuba Titans

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

It's not everyday tuba players at Winnebago High School get to march up and down the halls practicing. But these guys are getting special treatment. Winnebago students Joel Peterson and Ryan Melton will play their tubas during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And now it's crunch time.

"Working really hard and trying to memorize the music, get it right up to speed cause it's really fast when we play it and practicing and practicing," says tuba player Ryan Melton.

Peterson and Melton will play in a sea of 3-hundred tubas. Each high-school-aged musician had to try-out, which was quite nerve-wrecking for Peterson, who says he taught himself how to play the instrument just three years ago.

"I think it's going to be intimidating cause people are gonna be playing a lot longer than me and I'm not used to that cause there's not too many people that have practiced as much as I have," Peterson says.

And it takes lots of practice to successfully play the 20-pound instrument. It's size, often is a turn off for music lovers.

"I hope it attracts more tuba players it's hard to convince students but it's even harder to convince parents that the tuba is an important instrument," says band instructor Phyllis Hogberg.

Once they get to New York, the tuba duo will practice for three days with the rest of the tuba fleet. And then during the parade, they'll play just one song, but it will last for three hours.

This is the first time a band member from Winnebago High School has performed during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band instructor says this is most likely the first time in the Stateline as well.

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