Cherokee National Youth Choir in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


2013 Cherokee National Youth Choir (L to R): Front row: Sean Sikora, Austin Jones, Jessalyn McCarter, Brandon Doyle and Seif Drywater. Second row: Saundra Downey, Tabitha Fishinghawk, Skylar Glass, Bailey Justice, Cierra Fields and Chloe Martinez. Third row: Shay Downey, Lacie Melton, Alayna Harkreader, Makayla Hernandez, Marissa Williams, Madison Shoemaker, Garrett Million, Caidlen Dunham, Kaleigh Christie, Natalie Gibson, Roxanna Seay and Zakry Fine. Not pictured: Dalyn Patterson, Mariah O’Field, Jaycee Jackson and Diamond Rock.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —The Cherokee National Youth Choir will trade their traditional Thanksgiving turkey and dressing meal to travel to New York City and sing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

It’s the second time the Cherokee National Youth Choir has been invited to the parade. The choir participated in 2007.

“We are thrilled to be invited back to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Cherokee National Youth Choir Director Mary Kay Henderson. “It is very humbling, and our students take the opportunity very seriously. They know they are representing the Cherokee Nation on the parade route.”

Henderson said the 2 ½-mile parade, with more than 4 million people in attendance and viewers watching nationally, is mind boggling and something the 28 choir members will never forget.

The group is practicing weekly and held numerous fundraisers. The tribe will underwrite the majority of the trip.

The Cherokee National Youth Choir was founded in 2000 to keep youth interested in the culture and involved with speaking the Cherokee language. The choir has produced 11 albums, with the most recent being “Cherokee America” in 2012. The song choice for the Macy’s Day Parade won’t be revealed until on the parade route.

The public can hear the Cherokee National Youth Choir during several concerts at the Cherokee National Holiday. The choir will perform during the art show at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. They also perform at Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s State of the Nation address about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Court House Square, and 2 p.m. at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center. Admission is free.

For more information on the Cherokee National Youth Choir, contact Mary Kay Henderson at 918-772-4172 or

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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