34 finalists ready for slot on 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Roses for the Royal Court finalists. c. LB Monteros
Roses for the Royal Court finalists. c. LB Monteros

 

It was an exciting moment for 34 young ladies, finalists for the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court, as they took their places on the steps of Tournament House in Pasadena for a group photo shoot today. Nearly 1,000 people (there were a few boys) tried out for the Court and after three rounds of interviews, 34 were chosen to participate in the final step. In just six days, on Oct. 4, seven girls will be announced as Rose Princesses. The Queen and Court Committee used several criteria to choose the finalists, including poise, speaking ability, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

The breakdown by school is Flintridge Sacred Heart, six; Arcadia High School, five; La Cañada High School, four; John Marshall Fundamental High and Maranatha High School, three each; Mayfield Senior School, Pasadena City College, Polytechnic School, and Temple City High School, two each; Alverno High School, Blair High School, John Muir High School, La Salle High School, and South Pasadena High School, one each.

2017 Rose Parade Royal Court finalists. c. LB Monteros
2017 Rose Parade Royal Court finalists. c. LB Monteros

Top row, from left: (#617) Natalie Rose Petrosian, La Cañada High School; (#660) Elyse Juliann Reed, La Cañada High School; (#687) Dominique Noelle Pittman, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#727) Audrey Mariam Cameron, Blair High School; (#762) Tiffany Claire Echols, Pasadena City College. (#732) Maya Kawaguchi Khan, Arcadia High School.

Fourth row, from left: (#350) Kamela Elyse Stewart, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#371) Stephanie Shih, Temple City High School; (#470) Sophia Guadalupe Lopez, South Pasadena High School; (#531) Somer Nicole Tiffani Isaac, Maranatha High School; (#533) Victoria Cecilia Castellanos, Temple City High School; (#551) Grace Osher Van de Voorde, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#590) Anisa Keyur Patel, La Cañada High School. 

Third row, from left: (#253) Dineen Elise Tamayo, Pasadena City College; (#265) Anne Marien Bishop, Maranatha High School; (#299) Shannon Tracy Larsuel, Mayfield Senior School; (#325) Lauren Emiko Powers, Arcadia High School; (#326) Alyssa Hadlyn Chan-Evangelista, Arcadia High School; (#332) Noni Sakile Davis, Polytechnic School; (#334) Mikayla Jyvonne Nicholas O’Reggio, Mayfield Senior School; (#339) Moondera Nodeja Rabb, Alverno High School.

Second row, from left: (#121) Natalie Marye Buntich, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#138) Elena Lizette Flores, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#164) Caitlin Ann Mispagel, La Cañada High School; (#172) Alexandra Ann Tighe, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; (#193) Raquel Ann Ruiz, La Salle High School; (#211) Kin Mirley Spencer, Maranatha High School; (#212) Autumn Marie Lundy, Polytechnic School.

First row, from left: (#21) Mariah LeighAnn Benn, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#27) Mishtii Rajmohan Murari, Flintridge Preparatory School; (#42) Kennedy Diana Callaway, John Marshall Fundamental High School; (#53) Sophia Olivia Calabretta, Arcadia High School; (#85) Marissa Rose Mendez, Arcadia High School; (#114) Lauryn Camille Miller, John Muir High School.

We spoke with Kennedy Diana Callaway at the tryouts ealier this month.

A bittersweet goodbye and a fond memory of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully as Rose Parade Grand Marshal

R. Scott Jenkins, president of the 125th Tournament of Roses, and Vin Scully, legendary Dodgers announcer, at the announcement of the Grand Marshal on Sept. 5, 2013. Copyright 2013 LBM
R. Scott Jenkins, president of the 125th Tournament of Roses, and Vin Scully, legendary Dodgers announcer, at the announcement of the Grand Marshal on Sept. 5, 2013. Copyright 2013 LBM

by Laura Berthold Monteros

With Vin Scully winding down his 67-year career with the Dodgers as the premier play-by-play announcer in baseball, it’s time to reprise the articles we wrote about his long-awaited appearance as Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. We’ve worked them together into one tribute to the Master of the Mic.

“Hi, everybody, and a pleasant Thursday to you!” Vin Scully said when he took the lectern at Tournament House on Sept. 5, 2013.  As his signature opening line, he laughed, “I just had to say that.”  The Dodger play-by-play announcer was the choice of Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins to be the 2014 Rose Parade Grand Marshal.

“The most wonderful privilege about being president of the Tournament of Roses is two things,” R. Scott Jenkins said at the announcement that LA Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully would be the 2014 Grand Marshal on Thursday.  Number one is he gets to choose the theme, “Dreams Come True,” and number two is that he gets to choose the Grand Marshal.

After turning down the gig multiple times, Scully was finally convinced to bear the honors. We caught Jenkins as he was leaving the stage and asked how he scored Scully. The TOR president came close to your reporter and whispered, “Sandy.  One word.”  Sandy is Scully’s wife.

Scully was just about as perfect a choice as one can desire for the position, especially in a year of auspicious anniversaries: the 125th Rose Parade, the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the 100th anniversary of Tournament House, and the 65th year of Dodger baseball with Vin Scully.  Like the Tournament  Continue reading “A bittersweet goodbye and a fond memory of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully as Rose Parade Grand Marshal”

Phil Rulloda, Ronnie Siegel and Carol Togneri announced as 2017 Rose Parade float judges

Singpoli won the 2016 Sweepstakes Trophy for "Maro Polo: East Meets West." Photo copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros.
Singpoli won the 2016 Sweepstakes Trophy. Photo copyright 2016 Ramona Monteros.

from The Tournament of Roses Association

The Tournament of Roses has selected PhilRulloda, Ronnie Siegel and Carol Togneri to be float judges for the 128th Rose Parade presentedby Honda. The judges will grant awards based on many criteria including creative design, floralcraftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and colorpresentation and dramatic impact. The Tournament of Roses will announce the award-winning floats the morning of January 2, 2017, at Tournament House.

“Our Rose Parade float judges bring uniquely diverse skills to the judging process that greatly will assist them in the challenging task of judging each of the Parade’s incredible botanic masterpieces,” said Brad Ratliff. “Each float is designed, built and decorated by individuals who leave a small but valuably personal piece of himself and herself woven into the tapestry of each floral presentation. Each member of our esteemed panel of judges understands the theme, Echoes of Success, and is distinctly qualified to understand the role that each person plays in creating these beautiful works of art.”

About the 2017 Rose Parade Float Judges

Phil Rulloda is one of America’s chief evangelists for floral design, celebrating his 54thyear as a florist – an Ambassador of Sentiment.Having amassed an incredible number of awards in national and international designcompetitions, Phil has presented more than 500 programs to tens of thousands of professionalflorists. He was the 2004 recipient of the Society of American Florists’ Tommy Bright Award inrecognition of his lifetime achievement in floral education and commentary, in 1991 he was the first recipient Continue reading “Phil Rulloda, Ronnie Siegel and Carol Togneri announced as 2017 Rose Parade float judges”

Hundreds of girls try out for the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court. Here are a few.

2016 Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez in their Royal Court summer frocks, in between orientation sessions.
2016 Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez in their Royal Court summer frocks, in between orientation sessions.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It’s always a treat to talk to young women who try out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. It’s even sweeter to catch up with those who made it and have returned to Tournament House to explain the process to the hopefuls lined up on a warm Saturday morning in September. At the tryouts on Sept. 10, Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez from the 2016 Court found a few minutes between the groups of girls they were orienting to speak with us.

We spoke with a dozen young ladies after they had passed through the first round of judging and taken a tour of Tournament House. The photos and a little bit about each one are in the gallery below.

In the year since they sat on the porch listening to Princesses Emily Stoker and Gabrielle Current fill them in, Natalie and Donaly have made more than 100 appearances for the Tournament of Roses, finished high school and entered college, and gained lessons  Continue reading “Hundreds of girls try out for the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court. Here are a few.”

Tournament of Roses inspires a middle-school mystery filled with suspense and danger

"Tiara on the Terrace" launch party. Photo by Joe Alvarez for Russell Gearhart Photography Author Kristen Kittscher's book launch for her middle-grade novel The Tiara on the Terrace, at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA on Jan. 3, 2016.

Launch party for Tiara on the Terrace at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena in January. Photo by Joe Alvarez for Russell Gearhart Photography.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Last year, just about Rose Parade time, author Kristen Kittscher came out with the second book in a series about two middle-school girls, Sophie Young and Grace Yang, who with their friend Trista Bottoms solve mysteries in their town of Luna Vista. In this case, the Rose Parade and all the hoopla that surrounds it was the inspiration for The Tiara on the Terrace. The book captures the spirit and the quirks of the Tournament of Roses in Luna Vista’s Winter Sun Festival as the heroines investigate a series of murders.

Kittscher is a Pasadenan who taught middle-school English at Westridge School for Girls for several years, so she not only loves the Rose Parade, some of her students tried out for the Court. Earlier this year, we corresponded by email and Kittscher responded to questions about her book and her experiences. Being an English teacher and a writer, her responses were so well crafted that I am presenting them as a simple Q&A.

Q. The Tiara on the Terrace is very close to the Tournament of Roses, captures its fun and intensity, but you had to reimagine some things and create others.  What was your process in doing this?

A. My process was fairly simple: I knew that the elements of the Tournament I included had to serve the story. Credibility is always a hurdle when 12-year old sleuths are investigating a potential crime: I constantly have to find believable ways to put intrepid Young & Yang at the center of the action and the adults in the background. As a result, I decided to make the “Winter Sun Festival” a smaller town parade that was a shadow of its former self: With national media crawling all over town, it’d be hard to believe they wouldn’t be investigating along with my sleuths! I also decided it would be much more fun to have the mystery play out not only in the float barns, but also the “Ridley” mansion. It also helped me separate the kids from their families—and from pesky technology/cell phones, which are mystery-killers! I also needed to centralize the action to help keep the story tighter, so the float barns are part of the “Ridley Mansion” grounds.

Q. In researching this book, did you go to Tournament of Roses events, such as the tryouts, announcement of the Royal Court, tour of the Tournament House, or talk to folks in the Association?

Continue reading “Tournament of Roses inspires a middle-school mystery filled with suspense and danger”