Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Life a parade for Union trombonist

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Some 50 million people were watching as Union High trombonist Micah Lewis marched in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band on Thanksgiving Day.

“It was awesome,” said Lewis, an 18-year-old senior.

But it took some doing to get to New York City, and some doing to get on television.

Students rehearsed in a sports coliseum in New Jersey, and it was hectic early in the morning before the parade.

“Band officials warned us,” Lewis said, “and they were right. It was crazy.”

After the bus dropped the musicians off a block or so from Herald Square, organizers were shouting orders: hurry up, stand here because cameras will be over there. And it was cold and dark and a little bit scary. It was 1 a.m.

Lewis loves music and has been playing trombone since middle school. He auditioned for the chance to march in the Thanksgiving morning parade. He learned in June he was one of three Washington high school students chosen and the only one from Southwest Washington. All that was left to do was learn the music, raise about $1,800 for expenses, plus buy a plane ticket.

He learned the music; relatives provided their frequent flier miles for the plane ticket; and friends, relatives and anonymous donors sent money to help with expenses. He left early for the parade, with plans to visit with family in New Jersey and then check out several possible colleges in New York City.

Lewis knows he wants a career in music and hoped to find a good fit. He hasn’t picked a school yet but is applying for scholarships.

He has been part of several bands, including the marching band at Union. In March 2012, Lewis will attend a national competition in Indianapolis with Union’s 65-member wind ensemble. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Portland.

Oh, yes, the parade route was four miles and temperature was 30-35 and sunny.

Then, it was time to catch the flight back home.

— Mary Ricks

Prairie equestrian picked for St. Paul Rodeo court

Alecia Fox, 17, of Battle Ground will be riding Blue next year in the 2012 St. Paul Rodeo court. Fox was named to the three-member rodeo court after a daylong competition in October.

She competed on Blue, a blue roan American quarter horse, against nine other contestants to represent one of the top 20 rodeos in the nation.

“Coming from out of state trying for a title like that was an honor,” Fox said. She wasn’t expecting to win because she isn’t from Oregon. St. Paul is about 38 miles south of Vancouver.

“It’s something to be proud of,” Fox said, adding she tried out just for fun.

Fox started riding when she was 2. She’s been in 4-H, rides for Prairie High School, was part of the Washington High School Equestrian team, barrel races and was the 2011 Clark County Fair queen.

As part of the rodeo court, Fox will be involved in parades, including Portland’s Grand Floral Rose Parade, television and radio appearances, other rodeos and community events.

“I’m so excited to represent the rodeo,” Fox said.

Fox is a senior at Prairie High School and plans to pursue a degree in veterinary science after graduation.

Tickets and information can be found at http://www.stpaulrodeo.com.

— Ruth Zschomler

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Ruth Zschomler, 360-735-4530, or email ruth.zschomler@columbian.com.