WEST NEWBURY — One Pentucket High School freshman has something extra to be thankful for on Thursday.
Casey Saitow learned recently that his hard work and dedication as the school’s Color Guard captain has earned him a spot in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Saitow will be performing in the flag line for the color guard of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band.
The Macy’s band is made up of over 200 student musicians, color guard and dance performers from every state. The band is under the direction of music professionals from Ohio State, Auburn University and the University of Illinois, and the color guard and dancers are being directed by professionals who are affiliated with top drum and bugle corps — such as the Chicago Cavaliers and the Santa Clara Vanguard from California, said Lisa Arsenault, Pentucket’s Color Guard director.
Saitow’s selection marks the second time a Pentucket student will represent the state in the annual fall parade. In 2009, Arsenault’s son, Yuri, was chosen to join the trumpet section in the Great American Band.
In his second year performing with Pentucket’s Winter Color Guard, Saitow had to audition with a solo performance on tape in order to qualify to participate in the Thanksgiving activities. His coach said it was clear he was “a natural at color guard” from the moment he attended his first clinic at the high school in July 2011. “He started spinning the flag as if he had been doing it since he was 3 years old,” Arsenault said.
When she was asked to chaperone the Macy’s band this year, Arsenault said she “jumped on that
opportunity right away.” As someone who marched in drum corps as a youngster herself, she truly believes in these kinds of activities for kids. “I have marched in many parades but never in a major parade such as this on a big holiday,” Arsenault said.