Bits 'n' Pieces: Trombone player picked for big parade

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Micah Lewis has always enjoyed watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, but last year he got a better idea.

Why not be in it?

After watching the 2010 parade, the 17-year-old junior at Union High School in Camas decided to audition for the parade, which takes three or four students from each state every year as part of Macy’s Great American Marching Band.

Much to his surprise, Lewis, who’s been playing trombone for seven years, learned he was accepted.

“When I found out, I just had this sense of disbelief,” Lewis said. “I knew how selective it was — and to be picked out of so many kids, I’m thrilled.”

Lewis is in his school’s marching band, but it generally only plays in the Rose Festival Starlight Parade each year. Being chosen for a national group is a big honor, he said.

Now, Lewis is facing an even harder challenge — he has to raise $1,750 for his trip, food and expenses when the group meets in New York for the week leading up to the parade.

“We’ll do activities for bonding and get everyone on the same page with their marching styles,” he said.

Lewis recently got a job at a movie theater to help pay for the trip, but he’s also hoping to find some local sponsors to help.

“I’ll accept any amount of money anybody wants to contribute,” he said, adding that he’d also do odd jobs.

People can donate to his fund via Paypal at MicahLewis037@gmail.com.

Washougal teen wins film critique contest

Skyview High School freshman Jackie Yu recently experienced the excitement of having her writing published online for the first time.

Yu, a 15-year-old Washougal resident, won a contest put on by http://itsjustmovies.com and Bev Questad, an English teacher at Skyview who writes for the movie website.

About 150 Skyview students wrote essays critiquing the Disney animated film “The Sword in the Stone” and contrasting it with the T.H. White book “The Once and Future King.”

Questad chose four finalists: Yu, Brinley Hadfield, Grace Chandler and Elena Mack. The website’s owner picked Yu as the winner, and her review was published on http://itsjustmovies.com at the end of April.

Both the book and the film stayed true to Arthurian legend, but “The Once and Future King” features stronger character development and deeper messages than “The Sword in the Stone,” Yu said.

She enjoyed the challenge of comparing the two works.

“I like taking apart things and just examining them and seeing every detail,” she said.

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Courtney Sherwood, 360-735-4561, or e-mail features@columbian.com.