MCHS senior to march in Thanksgiving parade

LEWISTOWN – Hold the turkey and stuffing – Cassidi Hetrick will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day on a different note.

The Mifflin County High School senior recently was accepted as a member of the 2013 Tournament of Bands All-Star Marching Band. The 180-member marching band features high school students from across Pennsylvania and will perform during the 94th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“They tell me I’m going to be caught off guard,” Hetrick, of Lewistown, said about the coming experience.

Nevertheless, Hetrick said “it’s such a great feeling” to know that she will be part of the band.

Hetrick, who will perform with her saxophone, has been playing various instruments since fourth grade. She said her experience includes tenor saxophone, bass drum, mallets and alto clarinet.

It was during her freshman year of high school that she learned of the opportunity to participate in the All-Star Marching Band.

“I thought, I wanted to do that,” she said.

Hetrick admitted that she’s not sure what to expect when the big day comes, but is “hoping it’s not raining.”

One thing is for sure – Hetrick will be right where she belongs. She said she participates in almost every musical ensemble in the school and spends much of her “free time” practicing.

“I feel like (music) speaks to me (in ways that) nothing else can,” she said.

Other subjects in school just don’t “click,” she explained. But when she’s in music class and starts playing, Hetrick said it feels right.

“This is just what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she said.

After graduating high school, Hetrick plans to attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania to participate in the music program. She thanked Arthur Belfiore, MCHS music director, for his support throughout her high school years.

“No one realizes all the hard work he puts in,” she said. “He’s the first one there and the last one to leave.”

According to, the 94th Annual Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is scheduled to be broadcast from 8:30 a.m. to noon on 6ABC.