By Taylor Haggerty
Seniors Nate Mara, Hannah Brown, and Madeline Surace were selected to perform in The Tournament of Roses, a parade preceding the Rose Bowl itself, as part of the Bands of America Honor Band. This is a marching band composed of the top music students from around the country. The parade was broadcast on January 1, 2013, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continuing on through the morning.
It was a huge honor for them to be accepted, as hundreds of students from around the country auditioned and tried to achieve a position in the band. This is the third time that Bands of America has participated in the Tournament of Roses parade, the other two being in 2005 and 2009.
“It was an honor to be part of something so amazing,” said Surace, “and working with 300 dedicated and talented musicians was an experience that will stay with me forever!”
In order to take part, the students were flown all the way out to southern California for a week of practice, rehearsal, some sightseeing, and eventually, the parade itself. There were long practices going from early in the morning to late afternoon on the days approaching the parade, putting the students through sessions with renowned musicians and directors from around the country.
Even with all of that practice, though, the students had the opportunity to tour Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and even visit Disneyland. It was as much fun as it was hard work, said Brown, and she would do it all over again.
“You don’t get to experience that sort of thing every day,” Surace stated, and she was right.
In order to be selected for the Bands of America Honor Band, Mara, Surace, and Brown had to submit a recorded audition tape to be considered for admission to the band, and the program used rated them based on number of notes right and wrong in order to compare them to the other audition tapes.
“I liked being able to use a program instead of something more traditional,” said Brown. “It was a lot less stressful when no one was actually there watching us.”