Small town talent gets a Big Apple showcase

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This Turkey Day, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade offers a local treat.

Five Sequim High School students - Marley Iredale, senior, tenor sax; Lindsey Moore, senior, trumpet; Michael Okamoto, senior, trombone; Serena Okamoto, junior; and Caitlin Pallai, senior, flute - will march in the parade with the Macy's All-American Band.

The students will usher in the Christmas season by playing classic holiday songs and leading Santa Claus' float at the end of the parade.

They will join 200-250 students from across the country.

Others bound

for Seattle

While the five march the streets of the Big Apple,

Sequim High School band director Vern Fosket will lead the rest of the band in Seattle's equivalent of the parade.

"I think these kids will be fantastic," he said.

Fosket wanted to recommend more students for the trip, but Music Tours, that sponsors the band, needed particular instruments.

Macy's will provide instruments except the flute because all instruments are color coordinated. Students will be fitted for uniforms soon after arriving.

The consensus among most of the students was that experiencing New York seemed like an opportunity they couldn't pass up.

'Winter in big city'

"It's New York. It's winter

in the big city. I've always want-ed to do that," Iredale said.

Students will leave on Nov. 21 and stay through Nov. 27 in New Jersey.

Moore and Pallai agreed the parade's spectacles of large crowds and oversized balloons will be fun to see.

Two students, Matthew Gray and Ferris Ryan, marched in the Macy's parade last year and were the only Washington state representatives.

"They had a lot of fun and worked really hard," Fosket said.

"The second they got there, they had to work."

Many band members recorded the parade on TV last year and said they could spot one of the students immediately but had to look harder for the second.

In the front of the band will be Serena Okamoto. She plays flute but was selected to hold the band's banner.

To spot the other students depends on what side they are on, Fosket said.

Paying the piper

The trip costs about $2,000 for each student including food, hotel and airfare.

Students have sent out letters but said they are making monthly payments out of pocket.

They also have formed a group called Quintet for Rent that will play for groups that make donations toward their trip.

To book the group, contact Fosket through Sequim High School at 582-3600, 582-3412 or

Reach Matthew Nash at

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