Behind the Scenes at the Rose Parade
By: April Zavala
THE AUDITION: My name is April Zavala and I auditioned successfully as a trumpet player for the Tournament of Roses Honor Band of 2022 which is the official band of the Rose Parade. Being a part of this band has been a dream of mine since freshman year, and finally being able to be a part of the rose parade was a once in a lifetime experience.
REHEARSALS: Our first rehearsal was on November 7, 2021, and we continued having five hour music rehearsals every Sunday for a month. Once winter break began, we began marching rehearsals at Pasadena City College, Dodger Stadium, and Santa Anita Park to begin conditioning for the 6 mile long parade. The first few marching rehearsals were tough. The honor band as a whole was not conditioned to march (Play Instruments at an attention position while marching) for hours. But as the days went by it got easier and it proved to be worth it because it made the Rose Parade feel easy.
PERFORMANCES: We had a total of 4 performances before the big day. Our Disneyland performance was on the verge of not happening due to the high probability of rain. Thankfully, Disney agreed to having us perform in our “Rain-Day” uniform. When we arrived at Disney we still weren’t sure if our performance was going to be canceled due to rain, and unfortunately we would not be able to know until the very last minute. Finally, at 1:30pm, our performance began, and the rain did not start until half way through our performance.
BandFest is a performance put on by all the bands that will be performing in the Rose Parade. Our bandfest performances were to be performed rain or shine, and unfortunately we had rain for all three shows. Since we are the host band, we performed at all three BandFest shows.
THE BIG DAY: Finally, it was the night of the “Big Day”, New Years Eve. We had a call time of 3am which meant that we all had to be in bed by 9pm to get a good night’s rest before the parade. I left my house at around 1:30am to ensure I got to Pasadena on time. One thing I wish I was more prepared for was the cold. I wore a white long sleeve shirt and double gloves and it was still not enough to bear the freezing temperatures that morning. (If you’re ever going to perform in the rose parade, make sure you have HotHands!) Finally, we arrived at the step off for the Parade and it was the greatest rush we all felt. Nothing anyone said could have prepared me for “TV Corner”. There were thousands of people, cameras, flashing lights, all eyes on us. There was a moment we turned and played facing the audience and it was the most magical moment of my life.