Tulsa Union student wins national contest

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 11/27/2013 6:33 pm Published: 11/27/2013 11:45 am

Union High School drum major Megan Harju is gearing up to march alongside the rest of the Union band in tomorrow's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Man, I'm in the big leagues now. It's kinda scary, but it's really fun," said Harju.

She'll be singled out on national television and recognized as the winner of the Bob Hope Essay Contest.

She told us she doesn't think she'll be able to get much sleep tonight, and not just because of nerves and excitement. The Union High School band has a 1:30 a.m. call time.

Harju's mother, father and brother all made the trip to New York City to spend Thanksgiving with Megan, and to watch Megan and the band march in the parade tomorrow.

The drum major took some time out of a busy day of shopping at H&M and seeing the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to catch up with FOX23 News on FaceTime today.

"Right now I'm just so thrilled and so happy to be here," Harju said.

We found Harju's four-page essay, honoring Bob Hope, that won the contest. Here's a link to it. We learned she was up against 11 other Union band members. Each band could only submit one entry. Local band leaders chose hers.

Her essay, talking about how legendary performer Bob Hope lived a life of service, through entertainment, beat the 11 entries from other high school bands that were also chosen to march in the parade tomorrow. Her band director sat on the secret that Harju won the contest.

"He told me that he had known that I won for three weeks, and he did not tell an entire soul the entire time, until they announced my name at the luncheon," said Harju.

Harju started playing in the band in sixth grade, and chose to play flute. Then she switched to oboe. Now she plays saxophone. She tells FOX23 she wanted to be a drum major to better glorify God's kingdom.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Committee honored Harju at a luncheon Tuesday and awarded her with a $5,000 scholarship, plus $5,000 for Union Bands.

You can see Harju and the rest of the Union Band performance during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, at 10:41 a.m. tomorrow.

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