Band instructors from Rosemount High School are getting a behind-the-scenes look at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena this week in preparation for the marching band’s performance there in January 2014.
In November, the Rosemount High School Marching Band learned it had been selected to be one of only 12 high school bands from across the globe to march in the 125th Rose Parade in 2014. It was the culmination of a two-year selection process. Rosemount Marching Band had applied for selection several times before, but this will be the band’s first trip to the famous event.
“We stand on the shoulders of the alumni of the past and our senior class,” said band instructor Steve Olsen. “It’s the legacy they left behind that got us to where we are. All their hard work in the past has gotten us to this level. Now we’re there, and we’re going to enjoy it. It’s the Super Bowl of high school bands.”
Olsen is one of three RHS band directors, along with Leon Sieve and Bo Hoover. The three directors are in Pasadena through today, attending meetings and watching the parade in preparation for Rosemount’s trip next year. An estimated U.S. audience of 47 million people and an estimated international audience of more than 300 million in some 220 countries watch this event every year on television.
The marching band has done very well on the national competition circuit for the last eight years, Olsen said. This success earned the attention of prominent people in the marching band competition world and led to the band’s selection.
“The kids were thrilled,” Olsen said. “They were super excited and ecstatic.”
“It is just so exciting,” agreed sophomore Nicole Hutchinson, who plays tenor saxophone and is a section leader for the low reeds. “It’s a huge step up for the band and the community, and it’s so cool to see where our program is going.”
Although this year’s seniors will not be able to perform, Olsen said they are proud to be a part of the program that has earned national recognition with this prestigious selection.
“We’re reached that level on the national scene where we are being seriously considered,” Olsen said. “People know who we are now, and they are aware of the excellence we have strived for, and we are being acknowledged for that.”
Fundraising has already begun as it will take about $250,000 to get the 180-member Rosemount Marching Band to Pasadena. Fundraising will cover air fare, hotel expense, food and fuel for the band’s semi-trailer to haul equipment to Pasadena. Olsen said money will be raised through fundraisers, donations and corporate sponsors. Donations can be made at RosemountBand.com.
The marching band season starts in July and usually concludes in October. But with next year’s performance, the band will be marching for much longer. In addition to marching in the parade, the band will also be expected to participate in a field show while they are in Pasadena.