By Samantha SLAYBACK
For several years, Glendale Community College has hosted visiting marching bands, giving the bands a chance to practice for the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game. Last year, the college opened its facilities to the Stanford marching band and in 2012 it welcomed the University of Oregon marching band. This year, the Oregon marching ducks returned to the GCC field in preparation for the Jan. 1 trek down Colorado Boulevard before performing at the Rose Bowl.
This year’s trip for was especially exciting for three Oregon band members: sophomores Emma Salmon and Erin Batali and freshman Lauren Fairshter. All three graduated from Crescenta Valley High School and were excited to return to their hometown to rehearse then perform during the parade and football game.
All three girls had been a part of the award winning CVHS marching band directed by Mathew Schick.
“CVHS has band alums in university bands around the country,” said marching band dad Michael Salmon.
Salmon’s daughter Emma spoke on behalf of her two fellow CV alums when expressing her enthusiasm about getting a chance to perform back home.
“We talked about what it would be like for us to have our college band in our hometown and to be involved in all these events we had only attended as spectators or just seen on television,” said Emma. “It was a little surreal to have our ‘college life’ mix with our ‘home life’ for that week, but it was also incredibly fun to know so much about the events that we would do and the places we would go.”
During their week-long trip, the band had numerous rehearsals at GCC, performed at Bandfest at Pasadena City College, performed in the parade at Disneyland, marched in the Rose Parade, performed at the alumni tailgate prior to the Rose Bowl game, and participated in pregame, halftime and post game performances.
While their coach pushes hard for the members to look and sound good since they are frequently in the public eye, Emma explained that he also encourages them to have fun. With that in mind, the marching band was given the opportunity to enjoy their day at Disneyland after performing.
The Oregon marching band worked hard and played hard throughout the trip, all of their hard work and efforts culminating in the 5.5 mile Rose Parade and Rose Bowl experiences.
“All of us had had the dream of marching in the Rose Parade since we were little, and to get to do that with our college band was better than we ever could have imagined,” said Emma. “After such a great parade experience, the fact that our fans were appreciative and happy to see us (and that the ducks won the game) just topped it off.”