WARNER ROBINS -- Taylor Zoumberis has never been to New York City, but she will soon be marching the citys streets in the most popular holiday parade in the nation.
Not only is the Warner Robins High School senior one of seven Georgians in the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, but she is part of the Macys Great American Marching Band, which is scheduled to start the parade.
Im extremely excited, Zoumberis, 17, said the day before she left for New York. I love big cities ... being able to see it while in the marching band makes it 10 times better.
The road to New York began when Zoumberis recently attended the Auburn University Honor Marching Band; the Auburn band director is leading the Macys marching band this year. The director encouraged Zoumberis to apply to perform in the parade, and within a few weeks, she was accepted.
Zoumberis was stunned when she received the news.
I get to be in New York, she said, beaming.
Music has been part of her life since an early age. She became involved in band in the sixth grade, first playing the clarinet. She now plays a brass instrument called the mellophone for the high school marching band and the French horn for the symphonic band.
Its a completely different experience than anything Ive ever done, she said. Its a way to express yourself without using words. ... Its an extremely unique experience, and I really enjoy it.
Todd Howell, the Warner Robins High School band director, was thrilled when Zoumberis made the Macys band. She will be his first student to perform in the famous parade.
Taylor has a huge love of music, and its just evident when youre in the classroom, he said. I know shes going to love taking that love of music to New York City.
Not only will she represent Georgia, but she also will be a representative of Warner Robins High School and the entire community, Principal Steve Monday said.
She is a wonderful student, a good band student and really the best we have to offer at Warner Robins High School, he said.
Last week, Zoumberis was gearing up for a week of nearly nonstop rehearsing and sightseeing. She has been practicing at least once a day for the past few weeks and is preparing for a 3-mile march through the streets of Manhattan.
Its going to be a lot of marching, she said.
The parade is scheduled to air at 9 a.m. Thursday on NBC affiliates.
To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.