Sequim duo plays at NYC parade

Sure, the nation's first major parade of the holiday season is an honor. But what about mom and dad's turkey dinner?

Sequim High School senior Matt Grey and junior Farris Ryan, consider the question, just for a second.

"Let's see," Grey says, his hands weighing the choices. "New York ... or turkey."

Ryan echoes the sentiment.

"Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ... or turkey."

Clearly these two didn't mind settling for leftovers.

The pair made their way to New York last week for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov. 27.

Grey, a trombonist who played for the 2008 Olympic Games orchestra, said this opportunity came about a lot like that one did. Thanks to a mix-up with the parade band's organizers, no musicians from Washington state auditioned to represent the Northwest state. So Brad McDavid, the University of Washington band director and friend of Sequim bandleader Vern Fosket, asked if Grey and Ryan, a trumpet player, could make the holiday gig.

No problem.

The band was in New York from Nov. 22-28, with plenty of sightseeing before Thanksgiving's big event.

On parade day, Grey, Ryan and others in the 200- to 250-piece ensemble marched the three-mile route playing "Jingle Bell Jam." At the end, where the band leads Santa Claus into Harold Square, the band played a piece composed specifically for this year's parade.

While this is Grey's second time to New York, it's the first for Ryan.

One regret for the pair: they returned Nov. 28 - just in time to miss Sequim High School band's performance at Seattle's own Macy's Day Parade.

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