Penn-Trafford sophomore will march in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 20, 2018

Athena Konidaris’ Thanksgiving vacation will be a little different from that of her classmates.

Instead of sitting around fighting the urge to fall asleep after eating too much turkey, Konidaris, a sophomore at Penn-Trafford High School, will be relaxing after a long day of marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Konidaris, 15, will play piccolo in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, a 185-member band this year under the direction of Auburn University’s Richard Good. She was selected after submitting a video audition performing two pieces and demonstrating marching technique.

“I’m really excited to be able to go and be a part of this amazing band,” she said.

It will be a hectic week, though: Konidaris flies into New York City on Nov. 17. In addition to multiple rehearsals, she’ll take a tour of New York City and Times Square, see the musical “Wicked” on Broadway and attend a leadership conference.

As for the parade itself, members of the Great American Marching Band will pay tribute to the recently departed “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin.

“We’re going to play ‘Respect’ during the parade, and our song at 62nd Street in Herald Square will be ‘Think,’ ” Konidaris said. “The biggest challenge will be memorizing the music, and trying to learn the drill within a week of the performance.”

Konidaris’ mother Faith has her own worries.

“They have to check in while they’re at Times Square, but they’re basically on their own,” Faith said as a smile began to creep onto her face. “I’m terrified of the shopping.”

Faith also had some sage advice.

“There are 3 million people along the parade route, and they said there are 50 million people watching on television,” she said, then turning to Athena. “Don’t fall.”

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