When you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week, you might catch a glimpse of a familiar face – or at least the trombone in front of that familiar face.
Lovell High School junior Justin Mickelson was selected this summer to perform with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and will depart Saturday for what promises to be an exciting week in New York City.
The son of Frank and Michelle Mickelson of Lovell, Justin has twice been selected for the Wyoming All-State Band, and that track record led to him being invited this summer for the Macy’s band. As an all-state trombonist, he didn’t have to audition for the national marching band. He received a letter of invitation and simply mailed in an application.
Mickelson paid the $1,500 cost of his participation by mowing lawns this summer. The fee covers his registration fee, lodging, means and uniform costs. His father helped him with the airline tickets.
After arriving in New York Saturday, Mickelson will practice Sunday through Wednesday and perform Thursday morning, then return home Friday. Rehearsals are held each morning, and the afternoons and evenings are reserved for sightseeing and touring. Mickelson will get to see a Broadway show and visit Ground Zero and other sites.
He has already received the music for the parade – a medley of Christmas songs – as well as the choreography for a street routine the band will perform in front of the Macy’s Department Store.
Mickelson said he is “very excited” about the trip, noting that while he lived in the Seattle area for some time, he’s never been to the East Coast nor experienced a city like New York.
“It’ll be a lot of fun,” he predicted.
Trombone teacher Rick Parmer said what sets Mickelson apart is his work ethic.
“He’s getting a real nice tone right now,” Parmer said. “And he applies them (things he learns during lessons) during rehearsal. He’s also proven to be pretty balanced in his school activities.”
Band Director Jessica Schreiner said Mickelson is a positive influence on the band program.
“He’s a good leader in the band,” she said. “He doesn’t just listen for himself. He can hear what’s going on across the band and adjust accordingly, both with his own playing and helping others.
“He’s very musical. He has good tone and dynamics.”
by David Peck