Things are turning up roses for this band
The Pearland High School Marching Band will spend this year tuning up for a New Year’s Day to remember next Jan. 1.
The band has been chosen as one of 20 bands that will march in the parade for the 2020 Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California.
According to Tom Bell, the district’s director of fine arts, the Rose Parade honor will forever stand out.
“Pearland High School has a rich tradition, and this is absolutely one of those accomplishments that are part of that history,” he said.
The selection was based on a range of criteria including musicianship, marching technique, originality and entertainment value.
Led by director Joseph Munoz, the band began preparing last spring to vie for selection to march in the parade.
Requirements in the intense application process included citing information about the band’s accomplishments and providing photos of the members in uniform, Bell said. Also required were letters from the school’s principal and a music professional.
After perfecting its parade marching skills, the 325-member band, in full uniform, demonstrated on videotape how they would navigate the intricate turns of the Rose Parade route. That tape also covered the band’s history and traditions and its role in the community.
In October, word came that the band was in.
Planning to add Texas flavor
The young musicians will begin preparations to coordinate a program incorporating the 2020 Rose Parade theme, “Melody of Life.”
“We will select music that works with the theme of the parade, and we will also be playing ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas,’ if allowed to alternate,” Munoz said. “We anticipate having a piece arranged just for the parade; we’ll run our regular marching band production and spend some time working on parade techniques all fall. After our contest season, we’ll have rehearsals exclusively preparing for the parade.”
To offset the cost of students traveling and participating in the parade, the band’s booster club plans to organize fundraising projects.
Only 20 marching bands worldwide participate in the parade every year among hundreds of entries, Bell said.
“It’s a huge deal,” he said. “What is unique about this one is that the kids in the band program and their families have grown up watching the parade at home; so it’s something that many people in the community really identify with.
“Pearland will be represented, and that’s awesome,” Bell said.
High school football games and band contests give marching bands an opportunity to perform and compete locally, regionally and sometimes nationally, but the Rose Bowl is the ultimate stage.
“This is an experience that is truly once-in-a-lifetime,” Bell said. “I’m just certain that everyone that gets to go to Pasadena, California — either as a performer, as part of the school or a family member — will have this memory every year on Jan. 1 for the rest of their lives.”
It’s also something the Pearland community can share with its neighbors.
“We are excited that our students will be showcased to a national audience and seen all over the world,” Munoz said. “We are also honored to represent Pearland ISD, the city of Pearland and the greater Houston area in the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade.”