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Published October 22, 2013, 10:28 PM

Fargo South trumpet player earns spot in Macy's marching band for Thanksgiving parade

FARGO – Christiena Taralson hasn’t marched in a band. She hasn’t traveled the country a lot. But the Fargo South High School junior can play a trumpet. With that, Taralson wrote her own ticket to New York, hitting all the right notes in an audition taped in spring 2012.

By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM

FARGO – Christiena Taralson hasn’t marched in a band.

She hasn’t traveled the country a lot.

But the Fargo South High School junior can play a trumpet.

With that, Taralson wrote her own ticket to New York, hitting all the right notes in an audition taped in spring 2012.

It earned her a coveted spot in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band on Thanksgiving Day.

Now she’s one of two North Dakota members of the 185-strong band that will wend its way past 2.5 million spectators in New York for the 87th annual Macy’s parade.

The band will play a Christmas carol and a pop song, she said, and stop in Herald Square to play for celebrity hosts and a grandstand audience.

“This is my first time seeing New York,” Taralson said. “I can’t wait to meet the people (in the band). They should be really great musicians.”

In that respect, Taralson should fit right in.

She plays in the South High band and jazz band. She also fills in when needed for the orchestra, at churches and in the Fargo-Moorhead Youth Symphony.

Last summer, she was in the orchestra pit for the annual Trollwood musical. She’s now playing in the orchestra for the North High School musical “Pirates of Penzance.”

She wants to study medicine in college and be a surgeon someday, but she wouldn’t mind minoring in music, too.

She practices two hours a day.

“I love playing. I haven’t gone a day without playing,” in the six years since she took up the trumpet. “It’s been a big part of my life.”

South jazz band teacher John Syverson said Taralson is an anchor in the music program.

“So many kids in high school don’t take advantage of these opportunities, and she’s taking advantage of all of these opportunities. We couldn’t be more happy for her,” he said.

“She’s the poster child for students that are going to go into whatever in life. She’s taking it to a new level,” Syverson said.

Taralson leaves Nov. 23 for New York, which will give her time to practice with the band and take in some sights.

There are 30 trumpets in the band, with 15 playing first trumpet. She’ll be among those playing the top notes among the first trumpets, she said.

“It’s going to be great getting out there and seeing all those other kids,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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