Some Rosemount High School marching band members had an idea something important was going to happen during their annual season-ending awards banquet Thursday, Oct. 25.
They weren’t quite sure what it was but the anticipation started to build when a video recapping the program’s highlights over the past decade rolled on the screen in front of them.
As the video neared its end, band members buzzed with so much excitement that no one could remain seated.
“Every band member in the room was standing up in anticipation for what was going to be revealed to us,” sophomore Nicole Hutchinson said.
The news that Rosemount was selected to be part of the world’s largest parade – the 2014 Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif. – garnered a major reaction.
“Everyone, including myself, exploded with applause and enthusiasm when we got the announcement,” sophomore George Tangen said. “It was a unanimous cheer for joy from the entire ensemble.”
“After we were told I was ecstatic,” Nicole said. “I could not believe that my hometown marching band, one that my family had been a part of for the past seven years, was going to be participating in an event that only the best of the best get to be in.”
“Everyone in the band was cheering and it felt great to be a part of the band and the festivities,” George said.
The band was selected from among more than 50 groups that applied for 16 openings, according to parade organizers.
Now comes the hard part, raising money to help defray trip costs and perfecting the band’s music and marching over the next 13 months.
George and Nicole are both sophomores this year, have older siblings who played in the band and will be part of the summer camp when, under the hot Minnesota sun, they will practice music and moves that will be part of the 2014 parade.
“Every band trip proves to be an awesome bonding time for the whole band,” George said, “and the way I figure: bigger trip, bigger bonds.”
Nicole said she joined the band because of the family aspect and that, like another famous gathering place, “everyone knows your name.”
Family has a deep meaning for Nicole, whose two older brothers played in the band.
Nicole was just a fourth-grader when her oldest brother first became part of the band.
She was hooked on the idea of playing in it when she said she heard an alto saxophone soloist “blow my mind” with her “jaw-dropping” skills.
“Ever since then I just knew that I was going to be a part of the Rosemount marching band,” the tenor saxophonist said.
George, a percussionist in the battery, said he thought it was cool that his older sister was in the band and has found his niche since joining the group.
He said the friendships he has developed is the best part of being in the band.
“It’s a place where people accept you for who you are and they all have your best interests at heart, a trait we call ‘team horn line,’ ” Nicole said.
“The music and marching is fun, but it’s only half of the activity,” George said.
He said he’s also learned life lessons, such as those related to discipline, responsibility, and maturity.
“The challenge of competition really brings us together,” Nicole said, “and the excitement of all our hard work paying off is the greatest feeling in the world.”
It may be a while before that hard work is rewarded with their appearance in California on New Year’s Day, but there are roses at the end of that long tunnel.
To donate to the band, go online at www.rosemountband.com.