FEATURE: Mason Thulin marches in Macy’s Parade


Khadijah Halim

Mason Thulin in Bengal marching band uniform

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2022 in New York will feature not only festive holiday songs, but Plainfield East High School’s own student, Mason Thulin.

High school senior Mason Thulin has been playing the trumpet for 8 years, and his hard work has paid off in the form of opportunity.

“I auditioned I think in January or December sometime, and then I got a reply back within a month saying I was accepted, so that was pretty fun,” said Thulin.

Thulin discovered this opportunity during the COVID quarantine, which restricted him from auditioning. However, for Thulin’s senior year, he tried out.

“I just thought, hey why not give it a shot, you know, it’s my senior year, so I auditioned,” Thulin said.

The inspiration to audition was generated by Thulin’s band director, David Lesniak, and Lesniak’s opportunities.

“I actually saw that my band director performed in the Rose Bowl Parade, so during quarantine I was searching up band opportunities and saw an audition link for the Macy’s Great American Marching Band,” Thulin said.

In the parade, Thulin will be playing second trumpet and performing songs with other musicians such as “Joy to the World” and “Carols of the Parade.”

The work that Thulin has put into his musical passion has developed since his sixth grade year.

“I’ve been playing the trumpet for about 7 years now. I’m almost into my eighth year of playing trumpet. I started playing in 6th grade and have been enjoying it ever since,” he said.

Thulin is preparing for the parade with dedication to practice.

 “Marching band season actually just ended. I’ve mostly just been making sure I’ve been attending practices every day. I’m probably going to have to practice just marching around the house,” Thulin said.

The practice comes with a time restraint for Thulin. 

“Usually in marching band, I have like 3 months to memorize all of the music for the show, but for the parade, I’m only going to have like what 25 days at this point, so it’s pretty tough getting ready for this thing, but I think it’s going to be worth it,” he said.

Going to New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade brings excitement, but is a challenge for the organization.

“It’s a big ordeal that we have to do. We’re about to spend a week in New York, because we are going to be doing a ton of stuff besides the parade, like making new experiences and stuff like that, so there’s definitely a lot of planning,” Thulin said.

After the parade and the end of senior year, Thulin is planning to pursue music.

“Since I am a senior this year, this is going to be my last year to perform, so I definitely plan to apply to the band program and the marching band in whatever college I decide to go to, so that’s going to be something to look forward to,” he said.