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Macy’s Parade one stop towards Broadway

November 19, 2018

ROLLING PRAIRIE – You’d think performing before a live and TV audience of over 50 million people would be the highlight of a trip to New York, but Jacob Sherrick is more excited about seeing a show on Broadway.

And if the New Prairie High School sophomore’s career goes as planned, we might be seeing his name up there a few years from now.

Sherrick will perform with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday (9 a.m. ET on NBC) before an estimated 3 million live spectators. The parade concludes at Macy’s Herald Square with a national performance before more than 50 million TV viewers.

Sherrick’s performed for some large crowds, including the Indiana University Summer Music Camp, but nothing like this.

“I’m pretty nervous,” he said about the huge audience, “but in a good way. I don’t mind being nervous about this.”

He’s well past being nervous for most performances – he started drumming in sixth grade.

“My dad was a drummer and he introduced me to it before middle school,” Sherrick said. “He helped with the basics. It’s hard to learn, stressful at first because I wanted to be good. The basics are hard, just how to hold the sticks ... but I wanted to make my dad proud.”

He heard about the Macy’s audition competition, but didn’t really know if he had a chance.

“Two previous kids from our school made it, so I decided to audition. It’s a video audition so I did it right in my back yard. I recorded some stuff and put it up on YouTube,” Sherrick said.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it because it was pretty late in the fall and I started participating in the drum line and just forgot about it. So I was really surprised when I got the letter.

“My dad is proud of me now,” he added with laugh.

Also proud is NPHS band director Patrick Teykl.

“He’s one of the most talented to ever come through our school,” he said of Sherrick, “definitely the most well-rounded percussionist. And it’s nice to see that kind of talent come to fruition.”

Teykl said, “Jacob is not the first from our school to make it to the parade. We had Jacob Kessler and Haley DeMartinis the past couple of years. But they were seniors and made it by auditioning through drum major competition.

“Not that that’s easy, but it’s pretty impressive to do it as a sophomore in a nationwide blind audition. I’m sure there are a lot of unhappy upperclassmen out there.”

The Great American Band is made up of more than 185 students from nearly all 50 states. Along with performing, they will attend an educational workshop on leadership and reaching their maximum potential, and also have time to sightsee New York.

Sherrick was leaving on an early morning flight Saturday after already memorizing the music for the performance.

“We will be rehearsing but it will be more a cleaning process than learning anything new. We’ll work on the visual stuff so it all looks clean when we perform together,” Sherrick said.

Hopefully the weather is clean as well.

“The weather is supposed to be pretty good, sunny and 50. I’ve played in bad weather before – freezing temperatures make it pretty hard to play, and if it rains they just throw you a poncho. If it’s freezing out, you’re hands get cold. I can play in very thin gloves, but it’s not the best. I definitely won’t wear gloves in the parade.”

He was also planning to audition with other band members for a performance on The Today Show on Monday morning.

And while he likes the idea of touring New York, he said, “What I’m really looking forward to is seeing ‘Wicked’ on Broadway. That’s what I’m really excited about.”

He hopes Broadway is in his more distant future as well.

Sherrick plays drums, trumpet and piano, but said his real love is composing. He thinks he might go to Indiana University to study music.

“I want to be a professional musician, maybe get a doctorate,” he said. “I want to compose or do film scores. Composing in general for films, orchestra, plays, anything ... that’s my true passion.”

Sherrick’s played snare drum with the New Prairie Marching Cougars for two years, Teykl said, and also performed in many extra-curricular ensembles and clinics, including the IU Summer Music Clinic the past two summers.

He participates in concert band, marching band, pep band, indoor percussion, Jazz Band 1 and Solo & Ensemble at NP. His marching snare solo last school year received Gold ratings at both the District and State level, including “With Distinction” ratings for nearly perfect scores, Teykl said.

But New York will be something new.

“The performance should be really cool,” Sherrick said. “I’ve never played with more than one other person on the drum, and this time it will be seven of us.

“It’s a new kind of performance. I’ve done like 4th of July parades, but this will be more moving and grooving, so it’s pretty great. I’m really looking forward to it – meeting new people, being in a new environment, being in the big city and all that jazz.”

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