All four Richardson Independent School District high school marching bands recently
decided to apply, collectively, to march in the 2012 Rose Bowl Parade.

According to JJ Pearce director of bands Greg Hames, in the past the deadline for
applying for this opportunity was typically in mid June, but this year the deadline was
moved up to May, forcing the school district to hurriedly put together the submission
requirements. However, the chance to nationally display their well-respected music
programs and their most talented student musicians was too appealing to be missed. This
is also an excellent opportunity to bring the high schools together under one effort and
unify their image, says Bradley Kent, RISD arts director.

High school marching bands from all over the country are vying for a spot in the Rose
Bowl parade. The extensive submission process included a detailed history of the music
programs and their individual accomplishments, photos of all four high school’s marching
uniforms, and a video performance by the collective RISD marching bands. If selected, the
bands will participate in several marching performances in addition to the parade, and
will likely get to visit the various attractions that California has to offer
(Disneyland!).

Results will be announced sometime in October of this year, says Scott Taylor, Richardson
High School director of bands. None of the schools in the Richardson Independent School
District have previously applied, and they will likely have a better shot as a whole than
as individual bands, Taylor says.

For an ambitious high school musician (speaking from my past experience), the hours spent
rehearsing both in cramped practice rooms and out in the hot sun on the marching field
all become worth it with the thrill of performance. And because the Rose Bowl is one of
the most well known parade traditions across the country, annually attracting millions of
live and television viewers, these students are being provided with the opportunity to
make memories that will last a lifetime (and some serious bragging rights).

I’m crossing my fingers with you, RISD band kids.