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Bands in the 2014 Rose Parade: Part 1, the regulars

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Among the 20 bands that march in the Rose Parade, there are four that are invited every year, plus two slots for competition winners and two for the teams that play in the Rose Bowl Game, which were profiled earlier in this column. The list attached to this article presents the other six bands that performed in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1.

The perennials are United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, and Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band. The winner of the 2012 Bands of America competition was Rosemount High School Marching Band, Rosemount, Minn. and the winner of the 2012 Los Angeles County Fair competition was Glendora Tartan Band and Pageantry, Glendora, Calif.

(The Pasadena City College Herald Trumpets, which provide the necessary pomp for the Royal Court float, were profiled along with the Queen and Court float.)

The remaining 12 bands in the 2014 Rose Parade will be profiled in three upcoming articles. Band aficionados can check out Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 in this column. Subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the "Subscribe" link to be notified as the articles are posted.

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US Marine Corps leads off
US Marine Corps leads off Ramona Monteros

US Marine Corps leads off

The first band in the Rose Parade is always the United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band.  Led by band director Warrant Officer Andres Navarro and assistant director Gunnery Sergeant James R. Wallace, the band is small by Rose Parade standards with 106 members.  They get a big, crisp, crowd-pleasing sound, though, and know how to make that 109-degree turn from Orange Grove to Colorado without one misstep.

Salvation Army timbrels and ribbons
Salvation Army timbrels and ribbons Ramona Monteros

Salvation Army timbrels and ribbons

Rose Parade fans have been looking for the black-skirted ladies with the timbrels for 94 years.  The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band brought 190 musicians to the parade, including a contingent from Southern Australia and two youth from each Division across the USA and Canada.   As well as being the 125th Rose Parade, 2014 is the 125th year of the Salvation Army’s presence in Los Angeles and the 120th of the Pasadena Tabernacle Band.  Band director Kevin Larsson, assistant director Jacqui Larsson, and drum major Bruce Freeman led the band.  They play updated arrangements of revival songs and marches.

PCC Tournament Band
PCC Tournament Band Ramona Monteros

PCC Tournament Band

Every fall, high schoolers from the surrounding communities vie for the few open slots on the 235-member Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, the official band of the Rose Parade.  The core of the unit is the PCC Lancer Band.  One of the largest and most distinguished two-year colleges in the nation, PCC has 25,000 students and recently opened the new Center for the Arts complex.  Director Kyle Luck marched as a member of the honor band in the 1983-1985 Rose Parades in the percussion section.  Assistant director is Dr. Alyson McLamore and drum major is Tony Rescigno.  “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” is the band’s signature tune, and it also performed a special arrangement of the opening production music, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and “Colonel Bogey,” which celebrates 100 years in 2014.

New uniforms for the official Rose Parade band
New uniforms for the official Rose Parade band Ramona Monteros

New uniforms for the official Rose Parade band

This year, the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band sported new uniforms, paid for in part by donations from PCC faculty and staff.  The military-style coat is red with an embroidered Tournament of Roses logo, white pants and red shakos with white plumes.  The Honor Band acknowledged Pasadena City College, the Pasadena City College Foundation, PCC Student Services and the Tournament of Roses for their invaluable support.

Pasadena City College notables
Pasadena City College notables Ramona Monteros

Pasadena City College notables

Members of the PCC Honor Band have performed on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and in numerous films and commercials. The band is also featured in a Mariah Carey music video.  As the official Tournament of Roses band, the PCC Honor Band has marched in every Rose Parade since 1930, which made 2014 the 85th appearance.

Notable alumni include athletes Jackie and Mack Robinson, Michael Cooper, Jerry Tarkanian and Darrell Evans; musicians Eddie and Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony  of the Van Halens, Kim Carnes, William Hung and Kenny Loggins; writer Octavia Butler; actors Michael Dorn, Armie Hammer, William Holden and Nick Nolte; as well as renowned scientists, jurists, artists and people in the film industry.

LAUSD Honor Band
LAUSD Honor Band Ramona Monteros

LAUSD Honor Band

Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band draws from 60 high schools in the LAUSD, and is one of the most diverse units in the parade.  The 360-member unit has five drum majors—Joel Alcazar, Grover Castro, Michelle Lechese, Emily Lopez, Juan Morales—and is directed by Tony White with assistant director Art Durado.  The band has appeared in every Rose Parade since 1973.  Students audition in September, but have only 14 days to form up as a unit during winter break while maintaining their commitments to their school bands.  The band is made up of brass and percussion only; woodwinds have the opportunity to audition for the Pasadena City College Tournament Band.  A recent Target commercial featured selected members of the band.  Notable alumni include Head Director Tony White, Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media, and musicians Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancellor.

Rosemount High School
Rosemount High School Ramona Monteros

Rosemount High School

As the winner of the 2012 Bands of America competition, Rosemount High School Marching Band from Rosemount, Minn. was assured a spot in the 2014 Rose Parade.  Leon Sieve, Steve Olsen and Bojan Hoover team-teach the 208-member unit, which is led by four drum majors, Jessica Cox, Emily Brossart, George Tangen and Tony Hanto.  They are saluting the stands in the photo.  In an unusual formation, flag ranks are interspersed throughout the instrumental ranks, about every third row.  In March of 2013, the band traveled to Ponce, Puerto Rico and performed with Banda Escolar De Guayanilla, a 2012 Rose Parade entry.  Rosemount High has a comprehensive instrumental program that involves more than 400 students in six concert bands, four jazz ensembles, percussion programs, winter colorguard, small ensembles and private lessons.

Glendora High School
Glendora High School Ramona Monteros

Glendora High School

The winner of the 2012 Los Angeles County Fair competition, Glendora Tartan Band and Pageantry, Glendora, Calif., wears the Royal Stewart tartan and has 17 bagpipers in full dress Scottish regimentals modeled after the famous Black Watch.  Band uniforms are traditional Scottish style, with glengarries and tartan sashes.  Flaggies wear traditional Scottish dancing uniforms.  The 181-member unit, which frequently performs arrangements of traditional Scottish tunes, is directed by Scott Schwartz and assistant director Linda Bergslien and led by drum major Gaurav Parti.  The 2014 Rose Parade was the 50th anniversary of the band’s first Rose Parade and its ninth appearance.  Glendora High’s music program consists of the marching band, two concert groups, a jazz band, a pipe band, drumline and winterguard.  Notable alumni include Gabe McNair, "No Doubt" band member from 1987-1991 and drum major in 1990-1991, and Bobby Figeroa, member of the Beach Boys.

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