St. C. musician in NYC parade

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City is one of the most anticipated events of the holiday, ranking right up there with turkey and football.

This morning’s parade has an Ohio Valley flavor.

St. Clairsville senior Leandra Reed will be marching with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in today’s parade, which will culminate in front of Macy’s on 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan’s Herald Square, playing her trumpet.

“My biggest dream has always been to go and watch the Macy’s Parade,” Reed admitted. “The fact that I will be in it just goes above and beyond my dreams.”

The Macy’s Great American Marching Band chooses 200 of the best musicians from across the country to march in the parade.

Reed learned of the opportunity through a friend and decided to submit a demo of her playing her trumpet along with an application process.

“I am very anxious and excited about this awesome experience,” Reed said. “It seemed like yesterday that I got my acceptance letter in the mail and now the time has come that I’ll be actually in the parade. I am really looking forward to it, a lot.”

Reed flew to New York on Sunday and her parents and sister joined her in the ‘Big Apple’ on Wednesday. While in NYC, Reed’s schedule has been pretty tight with rehearsals and preparations, but there were scheduled times for sightseeing.

Several weeks ago, Reed received the packet of music that the band will be playing during the parade route.

“We were expected to have it memorized before we arrived in New York,” Reed said.

Reed didn’t know anyone else who had been chosen to take part in the band, but she looked forward to the chance to meet fellow musicians from all over the nation.

“I am really looking forward to meeting new people and just getting the opportunity to be a part of this parade,” Reed said.

Reed also expressed her gratitude to St. C. Band Director Justin Schwertfeger for his help and support, along with the businesses and people who donated to her expenses to help defray the cost.

“I really appreciate all of the help, and I am really looking forward to representing the school and community well,” Reed said. “I would also like to thank my parents because none of this would have been possible without them. I appreciate all of their love and support and the fact that they are allowing me to experience such a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Reed and her family will fly home Friday, and she hopes to be able to join the Red Devil band in Massillon at the St. C. state semifinal football game.

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