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Memorable march Look for these three Warriors in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
By: TIFFANY WOODALL Record Express Staff, Staff Writer
While most of Lititz will be basting turkeys and baking pumpkin pies this Thanksgiving morning, three Warwick High School seniors will be preparing for the march of their lives.
As America tunes into NBC to watch the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Cassidy Godber, Alyssa Good and Emily Hink will be performing in it. Godber and Good secured two spaces in the trumpet section of the 185-member marching band, and Hink landed one of the 50 flag and dancer slots as a member of the color guard.
The Great American Marching Band, now in its seventh season, is a unit comprised of student musicians, flags and dancers from across the country, directed by Dr. Richard Good of Auburn University and Barry Houser from the University of Illinois. Students were required to submit a written application and an audition DVD (flags and dancers) or CD (musicians) to be considered for one of the coveted positions.
The event itself is the cap on an ultimate band camp adventure — five days of rehearsals, sight-seeing and socializing with brand new friends — that began Saturday afternoon with check-in at the Hilton Woodcliff Hotel in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
As school let out Friday, the girls were eager to pack their bags and head toward the Big Apple.
"We honestly didn’t think we were gonna get in," said Hink, still a bit shocked that she and her two best friends were selected to participate.
"My brother did it four years ago, and one of our best friends did it last year," said Good, who was the first of the crew to apply and get accepted. "I was like, ‘Guys, just try, what’s the worst that could happen?’" she said of convincing Godber and Hink to give it a go.
"It doesn’t seem real yet," said Godber, who is a first-year member of the high school marching band. Hink and Good are six-year veterans of the program.
"I think we’re well prepared," said Good, although she and Godber had yet to finish memorizing the music they’d be playing during the parade. "It’ll be easier once all the parts come together. We’re good at memorizing music, so we’re not worried about that."
While Hink wasn’t required to memorize music, she had nerves of another kind.
"I’m scared I’m going to be the worst one in color guard there or something," she said with a breath of anxiety. "But I think I’ll be okay."
Her friends thought so, too.
"You’re the independent one," Good said to Hink. "You’re the mom."
Hink’s jaw dropped. "I’m not the mom!" she fired back.
"Yes you are," Godber added.
Hink’s face turned cranberry red as the girls laughed about Hink’s role within their clique. Godber and Good registered as roommates for parade week, but Hink chose to be paired with a member of the color guard.
"I specifically said I wanted to room with guard people because I wanted to be friends with them if I’m going to be spending all my time with them," said Hink.
Regardless, the trio was thrilled to be sharing the experience with one another as well as with their families and friends, who planned to attend the parade.
"It definitely is awesome to go by yourself, but to have your two best friends with you is just unbelievable," said Good. "I could not be more excited."
Any last-minute jitters were likely stifled by the girls’ busy itinerary, which included visits to the World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center, Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. and a Broadway show.
"You kind of get everything," said Good. "You get to meet new people, you get to go sight-seeing, you get to go shopping, you get to be with your best friends while you’re at it and stay in a really nice place."
"Everything" comes at a price, though — $1,500 to be exact — but the girls agreed that the cost was worth it when considering the T-shirt, jacket, Broadway show, various meals and hotel accommodations (complete with a post-parade Thanksgiving dinner) they’d receive.
"I’m gonna look at it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Good.
They each planned to record the event as it aired, saving a seat in the audience for when they returned home. Years from now they’ll reminisce about their 2 a.m. Herald Square rehearsal and the 2.5 million spectators lining the streets for the 2012 edition of the American Thanksgiving tradition.
"Check that off your bucket list," said Hink.
In addition, members of the Great American Marching Band have the option to purchase another keepsake from their memorable day: pictures of themselves and the band taken by crowd cameras and photographers on foot.
This is it for these girls, the icing on the cake of their marching band careers.
"None of (our college plans) involve marching band, which is kinda funny," joked Good. "We’re ending with a bang."
She plans to attend Harcum College in Bryn Mawr to study veterinary technology. Hink has applied to several out-of-state schools including Eugene Lang College in New York City, Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Goucher College in Baltimore. Godber hopes to attend Shippensburg University to study psychology.
Good is the daughter of Craig and Gwen Good; Hink is the daughter of Paul and Kim Hink; and Godber is the daughter of Jeanna Arnold.
Good and Godber are current students of Warwick High School Band Director Matthew Wolfe, and Hink is a student of Connie Goebel, Katie Rothenberger and Shannon Bartman.
"Mr. Wolfe is such a good band director," said Godber. "He taught me everything I know."
This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast Nov. 22 on NBC at 9 a.m. For more information about the Great American Marching Band, visit musfestivals.com/Programs/Great-American-Marching-Band/index.aspx. More MACY’S PARADE, page A15