Falmouth music student to march in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

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FALMOUTH — Look closely and you may see a familiar face Thursday if you’re watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.

Falmouth High School senior Katharina Ertman will be marching through the streets of New York City playing flute with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.

“If there’s any nervous energy, it’s turned to excitement,” Ertman said last week.

After auditioning and winning a spot in last year’s All State Band, Ertman received a letter from Macy’s inviting her to participate. Since Falmouth doesn’t have a formal marching band, she thought she’d take the opportunity to try something new.

“I have some friends in the South Portland marching band and it always seems like so much fun,” she said. “I just wanted to try it.”

The Macy’s Great American Marching Band was created five years ago in honor of the parade’s 80th anniversary. It invites students from all around the country to come to New York and participate; Ertman is the only musician from Maine who is marching this year.

She had to memorize two musical pieces for the performance, one of which was commissioned by the band for the parade. There is a dress rehearsal at 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and the band had to be in place early that morning for the big event.

In the meantime, Ertman, who studies flute with Portland teacher Krysia Tripp, said she also has to prepare for another concert and this year’s All State audition. She also plays tenor saxophone in the school jazz band.

In her spare time, she’s on the school robotics team and is working on college applications. She wants to study computer science and programming in college, but is considering minoring in music.

“I have so many friends in music. It’s a whole different crowd of people,” she said. “I just love it.”

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.

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Falmouth High School senior Katharina Ertman is the only musician from Maine who was selected to perform with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

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