Getting up at the crack of dawn during the wintry weather can be a challenge, but there were days when five Crescenta Valley High School students had to be up and about hours before sunrise.
The group – one junior and four seniors from the CVHS marching band – gladly greeted the dawn in preparation for performing in the 123rd annual Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2.
“For the herald trumpet players, we had two days where we were at [Pasadena City College] (PCC) around 4:30 a.m.,” said senior Mack Wright, who played herald trumpet at the parade.
Following an audition, participants were selected at PCC to perform.
Each practice for the parade lasted for five to seven hours and involved rehearsal marching around Dodger Stadium. Yet despite the early wake up calls and physical demands of simultaneous instrument playing and marching, the participating band students found performing at the parade a positive experience.
“The whole performance is pretty incredible because it’s a two-and-a-half hour performance and you get a new face every step,” said Wright.
“[Another good thing] was being able to perform to people who aren’t band geeks and having them enjoy it, as opposed to a CV parade where it’s a bunch of band people just sitting there critiquing you,” said Weston Foote, a senior and tuba player.
For senior and saxophone player Aaron Hancock, his participation gave his parents a reason to attend the parade. His dad hadn’t watched the event since he was 14.
Mathew Schick, instrumental music teacher at CVHS, marched the parade during his senior year at Hoover High School.
“It was one of the best experiences I ever had,” he recalled.
For this reason, Schick makes it a point to encourage his students to play in the parade.
Trumpet player and senior Riley Scott, and junior trombone player Madison Artis, were also positive about the experience. Artis said she intends to do it again in 2013.
In addition to showcasing their musical abilities for a large audience, band students enjoyed interacting with different people.
“I’d totally do it again … just because it’s this one month of intensive bonding with random people and [we put out] this amazing performance,” said Hancock.