Tag Archives: Rose Parade

Rose Parade Auditions

JGHS working to join the 605 All-Star Band

By Giselle Ortiz and Leslie Cardenas

The John Glenn High School marching band and color guard decided to take a break from their usual competitive season this year and focused on their marching skills as they auditioned for the 2025 Tournament of Roses Parade.

For the past 3 months, the band and color guard have been rehearsing to participate in the 605 All-Star Band. The 605 Band includes John Glenn, Norwalk, La Mirada, Bellflower, Cerritos, Artesia, Gahr, and Mayfair. These eight schools have banded together to record an audition tape to be admitted into the parade. The recording of the audition took place on December 4, 2022 at Bellflower High School.

While the band had much time on their hands to practice their marching, the color guard was awaiting a video of their routine to “Life is a Highway,” one of the songs the band auditioned with. Weeks passed by but the color guard still had nothing. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving where the color guard finally received their video. So when we got back from break, the color guard got to work learning their routine as a team. They had 4 days to learn the complete routine. 

Recording day was split into two parts. The first part was marching in a parade block and the second part was the field show.

Mr. Hinojoz (JGHS band director) conducting the 605 All-Star Band.

The morning of recording day, the band, color guard, and battery got divided into different sections. Band was on the football field, the color guard was on the practice field, and the battery was in the parking lot. The band began by warming up on the track. We did warm-ups for about 20 minutes before we began to run our first song, “Life is a Highway.” The sound of the band was amazing, we sounded full and strong. Eventually, the video photographers recorded our audio and after recording, we got a 10-minute break.

After our 10-minute break, we got back to the track to record us marching. This time, the color guard and battery joined us. We all got put into our ranks, which took a while since all the band directors were moving students around to make the block work better. Once we were set we began to march in a block while pretending to play. Towards the end of part one, we were given a break. When we came back, the pit for the field portion had been set up. We played with the field battery and pit a couple times and then we broke off for lunch.

During lunch, it began to sprinkle. The band directors decided to put us into the MPR. This delayed the recording of the field portion by about an hour.

The 605 band forming a “605” freeway sign.

Once it began to calm down we all headed back to the stadium. We finally began to work on the field portion. The field portion was the part most people did not enjoy. The JGHS marching band is specifically a parade band, not field. So we did not know anything about the drill nor were we used to the amount of time we would have to reset. We stood in one spot for a very long time. Though they let us have our jackets on while setting up, the minute we had to record they had us take our jackets off. It was very cold and many people were concerned about getting sick. The whole time we were told to airplay. It wasn’t until the very last run through where we were allowed to play.

Our overall experience during recording day wasn’t the best. But sure, the beginning was fun since it was something we are used to. 

Here are some more pics from that day:

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.