by Laura Berthold Monteros
Nineteen marching bands will appear in the 128th Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. The bands are chosen more than a year before the parade, but this year will feature a special last-minute entry. The US Air Force Band, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017, has been included at the request of Pres. Brad Ratliff. Two additional units, representing the universities chosen to send teams to the 103rd Rose Bowl Game, will be announced in December.
Volunteers from the Tournament of Roses audition the bands two years in advance of the parade, so the groups have time to raise funds for travel, accommodations, and visits to local attractions, and for foreign units, to secure passports and visas. Pres. Ratliff, who plays trumpet, French horn and ukulele himself, visited each band to issue a formal invitation and sit in with his trumpet.
Selected units must demonstrate outstanding musicianship, marching ability, and entertainment or special interest value. They must also train for the rigorous 5 ½-mile parade and one of the three Bandfest shows in the days preceding the Rose Parade, which can take place in temperatures from 32 degrees to 85 degrees. The process begins with an application and a packet of photos, videos and letters of recommendation. Applications for the 2018 Rose Parade are now available on the Tournament of Roses website.
Only four bands have standing invitations: Los Angeles Unified School District, Pasadena City College, Salvation Army, and US Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band. The Bands of America Honor Band or winner of the Bands of America Competition is also invited. Other units may only march once every four years.
Marching bands slated for the 128th Rose Parade
- Arcadia High School – Arcadia High School Apache Marching Band and Color Guard, Arcadia, Calif.
- Bands of America Honor Band (Representing all 50 States) – Indianapolis, Ind.
- Broken Arrow High School – The Pride of Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow, Okla.
- Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Industrial No. 3 – Buhos Marching Band, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
- Foothill High School – Falcon Marching Band, Henderson, Nev.
- Gifusho Green Band, Gifu, Japan
- Grove City High School – The Grove City High School Marching Band, Grove City, Ohio
- Lawrence Township – Marching Pride of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Los Angeles Unified School District – All District High School Honor Band, Los Angeles, Calif
- Martin Luther King, Jr. High School – MLK “Kings of Halftime,” Lithonia, Ga.
- Niceville High School – Eagle Pride, Niceville, Fla.
- Ooltewah High School – Ooltewah High School Marching Band, Ooltewah, Tenn.
- Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets –Pasadena, Calif.
- Pulaski High School – Red Raider Marching Band, Pulaski, Wis.
- Rose Bowl Game participating band #1
- Rose Bowl Game participating band #2
- The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band – Los Angeles, Calif
- Santa Clara Vanguard – Santa Clara, Calif.
- United States Air Force Band – District of Columbia
- United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band – MCAS Miramar, MCRD San Diego and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
- Westlake High School – Chaparral Band, Austin, Texas