Add Katie Beth Fowler, 16 year-old junior, to a very short list of talented local youth. A member of the Pride of Eastside Marching Band, Fowler has been selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a member of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
After traveling to New York for practice leading up to the parade, she will room with two other girls, one from New Jersey and one from Alabama, as the goal of the Great American Marching Band is to have people from all over the country come together to perform.
“I’m just really excited about it. Excited to meet new people,” Katie said.
“It’s a great experience that not a lot of people get to have especially in this school. We had two people go last year, but none of my friends are able to do this. I’m really excited to go to New York and visit it, but also experience the Macy’s Parade,” she added.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a world-renowned parade that is shown on TV every year. It will start at Central Park and end downtown in front of Macy’s.
Katie was selected to participate in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as one of 40 flag performers after she sent in a YouTube video of herself performing a flag routine to the organizers of the event.
“I used some of the routine from last year’s marching band show,” Katie said.
After Eastside’s Austin Barnett and Reid Waters were selected to be members of the 2014 Great American Marching Band last year, Katie was greatly intrigued. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try and experience it this year.
Katie has been playing the French horn since the sixth grade at Cousins Middle School. She currently plays in the symphonic band at Eastside. She also sings with the Oxford Youth Singers and is a member of an acapella choir. Katie transitioned to color guard her freshman year and managed to do both color guard and play the mellophone in the marching band as a sophomore.
“It was easy to talk dad into that, but it took talking the band director into working it out so that she could do the opener part of the show – like the first two-and-a-half minutes of the show – playing the mellophone and then she, while some kids moved to get ready to play a little ensemble and some color guard people moved to get their flags for the second song, she walked over and we had a jacket with velcro so she could take it off and she was in the color guard uniform and did the rest. That was pretty cool,” Alan Fowler, Eastside band director and Katie’s father said.
“I’m very blessed to have a daughter that is as talented in all the different things that she does. There’s no doubt about that and sometimes I just can’t believe that I’m such a lucky dad, and I get to be a lucky band director. I’ve got great kids throughout the band,” Alan Fowler said pointing to one of his band members in his room.
“But it’s neat that one of them is mine and she’s a junior. I realize that our time together in the band room is moving on along. It’s two-and-a-half years now that she’s been here and this next year-and-a-half will fly by. I hope that as time goes by and she looks back on her time at Eastside High School I hope she realizes it’s pretty special having us here together.”
All of Newton County can look for Katie at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday.