Micah Lewis was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year, checking out the bands.
As a trombone player, the Union High School student enjoys watching other groups perform. Later, Lewis Googled the parade and to his surprise, saw that there were open auditions for the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, comprised of high school students from across the country.
Since just a few students are selected from each state, Lewis didn’t think the odds of getting in were too high. However, he decided to send in an audition CD last spring, one of thousands of entries received from across the country.
When a letter from Macy’s arrived, Lewis assumed it was a rejection notice and briefly scanned the first few paragraphs.
“All of the sudden we heard this really loud, ‘Yes!'” recalled his mom, Hala Lewis. “He was screaming and we
were so happy for him.”
“I was really excited,” Lewis said. “I had to read it a few times because I thought it was a mistake at first.”
Lewis was one of only three students from Washington state to be selected for the marching band, and the only one from southwest Washington.
“I’m really looking forward to performing in the parade and meeting new people,” he said.
Lewis left for New York last Wednesday, and plans to visit three colleges while he is there: Julliard, New York University and The New School, which focuses on jazz and contemporary music.
Lewis has been playing the trombone since he was in fifth-grade.
“My dad played the trombone so I wanted to try, too,” he said. “In sixth grade, I became more serious about it.”
Funding the trip to New York, his first airplane flight, was not an inexpensive undertaking.
“I want to thank the community for all of their support,” Lewis said. “Well over half of the cost has been taken care of by community members, some that I didn’t even know.”
The Macy’s parade has more than 50 million T.V. viewers and more than 3.5 million spectators that line the streets of New York City. It includes Macy’s employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns, dance groups, marching bands, floats and balloons.
Locally, the parade will be broadcast on channel 8 at 9 a.m. Thursday.