The Walton High School Marching Raider Band has been selected to appear in the 121st Annual Tournament of Roses Parade, themed 2010: A Cut Above the Rest. This marks yet another milestone in the history of one of the finest high school band programs in Georgia.
Each New Year’s Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade. It’s a celebration more than a century old – a festival of flowers, music and pageantry unequaled anywhere in the world. Under the direction of Mike Back and Associate Director Jeff Pollock, the band will play continuously for the two hours it takes to march the 5½ mile parade route down Colorado Boulevard. The band will perform in front of a live audience of more than 1 million people. The parade will be broadcast live to a television audience of 40 million domestic viewers plus an additional 350 million viewers in over 100 countries around the world.
The process for selection to the Rose Parade starts with an application submitted almost two years prior to the event. Each band must submit a “resume” of its achievements along with a video and recommendations from community and government leaders. Hundreds of bands apply each year and fewer than 25 are selected to appear based upon musical achievement, marching ability and showmanship. This is considered to be the “Granddaddy of them All” for marching bands.
It is a yearlong process to prepare the students physically, practice the music, plan the logistics and raise the funds necessary to transport almost 250 people, their instruments, equipment and uniforms across the country and back. A large planning committee has been formed to tackle the various tasks involved, from trip planning to fundraising to publicity to planning a visit by the President of the Tournament of Roses Parade to make the official invitation to the band.
More information about Walton High School and its band is available at www.waltonband.org