West Branch’s Macy’s Day Parade Representatives


Elijah Williams, Author

It is becoming a tradition that a member of the West Branch Marching Band will march in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. This tradition all started in 2012 with West Branch graduate Jordyn Andrews. She was the first person from West Branch to be part of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and inspired future band members to apply too. This year, Junior Dalton Kristofits (Sousaphone) and Senior Rachel Heitsenrether (Clarinet) will be representing West Branch in the parade. Dalton jumped the gun on his audition and sent it in on March 30th receiving his acceptance letter on May 5th. Rachel took some extra time to prepare. She submitted her audition in the middle of May and received her acceptance letter only a month later. I asked Rachel if she was hesitant to audition and she replied  “I wasn’t really hesitant. I knew that I had the confidence and skill to make this experience happen and my family and friends who had done the Macy’s experience before had faith in me. I never lost sight of what I wanted, especially with this being my senior year. I wanted to give myself one last chance to experience something great.”

Both were asked what they are most excited for while in New York and Rachel said “Overall, I’m looking forward to meeting new people from around the country and hopefully make new friendship with people who share the same interest in music that I do.” Dalton is looking forward to not being the only sousaphone marching like he is here at West Branch. They each received two pieces of music and choreography at the beginning of November and they have to have each song and choreography memorized before this Saturday the 17th.
Good luck and safe travels to both as they leave this Saturday the 17th for New York!