The Damien High marching band was selected from a nationwide group of applicants to participate in the 2025 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band was notified during a special event at the school on May 20.

Damien, an all-boys Catholic school in La Verne, was one of nine high schools chosen and the only one from California, said Damien Band Director Jaime Magallón.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents on a national stage and such a historical event,” he said.

At the school announcement, a representative from the Macy’s Parade Band Committee presented a $10,000 check to help kick off the marching band’s fundraising.

The band will spend the next 18 months rehearsing, preparing, and fundraising for the trip to New York, where about 60 students are expected to travel. Since the group largely performs open-air concerts like halftime shows, much of the training will be to get the group parade-ready. And preparing for colder weather.

“You know, East Coast weather,” Magallón said. “On that day, we’ll probably have to get up at 2 a.m. to be able to practice for the actual parade.”

The band is coming off back-to-back titles at the Southern California Division 2 Championships. While this is its first appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — and biggest event so far — the group has performed at Disneyland and Hawaii before.

For Magallón, who has been Damien High’s band director for five years and was in the marching band during his days at La Puente High School, the trip and performance will be a dream come true.

“It was always a big dream of mine to be able to march in a parade like this,” Magallón said. “Just staying grounded in my faith and believing every day that if you work hard, you’ll prevail.

“I'm excited to see the growth for these next 18 months for the students and how well they can progress and be able to do this.”

Donations can be sent to the school designating that the funds should be used for the band’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade trip. The school’s address is: Damien High, 2280 Damien Ave., La Verne, CA 91750.