Band invited to march at 2016 Rose Parade

October 30, 2014 — by Claire Chou and Gwynevere Hunger

As the timer counted down for the first quarter of the varsity football game on Oct. 17, the crowd in the stands focused their attention on principal Paul Robinson, who handed the microphone over to representatives Eve Santillon and  Esther Campos-Ball from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee.

Santillon announced that Saratoga’s marching band has been invited to march at the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2016.

The world-famous Rose Parade, an annual, nationally televised festival of floats, equestrians and marching bands, is performed in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The parade follows the Rose Bowl college football games.

Top marching bands are invited from all over the world, and directors Michael Boitz and Jon Pwu “completed a very detailed and lengthy application” that included video footage, a resume of the band for the past decade and a list of accolades.

As part of the experience, the band will participate in the Bandfest at Pasadena City College’s Robinson Stadium. The Bandfest is a field show competition that will take place over three days before the parade.

The parade route is 5.5 miles long “with a huge audience through the entire duration” and takes about two hours. Boitz said the route is much longer than the Macy’s Parade, where the band marched in 2013. In order to prepare for this long parade route, the band staff is planning on more physical conditioning for band practices.

The representatives who met with Boitz and Pwu before the announcement at the football game delivered a thick binder of information and expectations. To receive more information about the Rose Bowl Parade, the directors will be going to Pasadena on Dec. 28. The committee will run them through logistics as they view this year’s parade.

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