For the DiRosa family of Palm Coast, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition. Before moving to Palm Coast four years ago, the family celebrated Thanksgiving standing on the parade route. This year, they will once again find a spot along the route, but without their daughter Catherine.
Catherine will be playing her clarinet in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band on Thanksgiving Day. She will be one of 250 students, representing all 50 states.
“It’s so surreal to think I will be marching in the parade with Macy’s,” Catherine said.
One of three drum majors at Flagler Palm Coast High School, Catherine isn’t the first drum major to march in the parade. Last year, her friend Lauren Perrotta also marched in the parade, and inspired Catherine to audition.
With two drum majors being selected to participate, two years running, what’s Band Director John Seth’s secret? Is there magical fairy dust involved?
“There’s no magical fairy dust. It’s hard work, and it pays off,” Seth said. “They have to be independent and take the initiative; this is all in their court. They have to prepare an audition tape, prepare and meet deadlines. “
“Last June I sent in my audition on Youtube (https://youtu.be/p1c3gIYNrws),” Catherine said. “My dad picked me up at work the end of July, and said, ‘Guess what came?’ There was a lot of screaming.”
In her freshman year of high school, Catherine moved from Long Island, New York, to Palm Coast. She had been involved in a concert band since she was in the fourth grade, and had absolutely no interest in joining the FPC marching band.
“I was going to quit (band),” she said. “I was not going to do the marching band. It isn’t my thing.”
She credits Seth with not only with helping her change her mind about being in a marching band, but also helping her decide on her career.
“I had no idea how much fun the marching band could be. Mr. Seth very much changed my life and my outlook,” Catherine said. “He has been a mentor for me.”
Catherine plans on studying music composition in hopes of a career of writing musical scores for film. She has been accepted to Stetson University, but would like to go to a New York school.
“I would like to try that,” she said. “I might also be a teacher.”