Seven musicians from local high schools will perform before an audience of millions as they march down Colorado Boulevard on New Years Day as part of the Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Color Guard. The local students have been spending their winter vacation practicing the challenging Rose Parade music and getting into shape for a five-and-a-half mile march on Thursday.
Band members are selected from a field of accomplished musicians throughout Southern California. The honor is considered by many to be a chance of a lifetime and among the most prestigious honors in the field of music, according to Robert Gibson, band director at Saugus High School.
Six of the seven local participants this year are from Saugus, the 20th consecutive year that Saugus students have been chosen for the Rose Parade and an all-time record high. Saugus participants include Eric Holzmann, cymbals; Aaron Huffman, sousaphone; Josiah Morales, baritone; Michelle Patterson, color guard; Taylor Ritenour, trombone; and Heather Weber, banner. Roxanne Windover from West Ranch High School also will participate, playing tenor sax.
Billed as the longest parade in the world, the Rose Parade is seen by millions of visitors both in person and through television around the world. In addition to the honor of participating, selected students are able to receive college credit for the program through Pasadena City College.