COLUMBIA, MO. (AP) — The University of Missouri’s marching band has been invited to perform in the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Officials surprised band members with the invitation on Saturday. Missouri’s band, which has more than 300 members, was one of nine selected to participate in the parade out of hundreds of applicants.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for our students to represent the university and the state of Missouri on the world stage,” band director Amy Knopps said.

Over the next 18 months, the band will prepare for the parade with rehearsals and fundraising events. Macy’s is donating $10,000 to help the band raise funds for the trip.