Rosemount High School marching band to perform in 2017 event
When the governor shows up at your school, you know something important is going to happen.
That was the case Tuesday afternoon in the Rosemount High School Performing Arts Center when a visitor from New York City took to the podium and said he had a surprise announcement.
“My heart was racing I was getting so nervous,” said Isabel Edgar, a junior drum major for the RHS marching band.
Then the visitor told the student gathering that the school’s marching band had been one of 10 out of 175 nationwide applicants selected to perform in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“As soon as he made the announcement I had tears running down my face I was so excited,” Isabel Edgar said. “I am so happy for everyone involved.”
There was cheering, clapping, hugs, hollering and, yes, a few tears.
“We were all very excited,” said band co-director Bo Hoover, who was one of about 20 people affiliated with the school who were in on the secret. “(We) were able to (keep it a secret) with a lot of effort.”
The news had as slight sadness to it, as this year’s junior and senior marching band students won’t be able to march along oversized inflatable characters through Manhattan streets a year and a half from now.
“I am disappointed I won’t get to be there with them,” sophomore drum major Colette Edgar said of her older classmates, “but I will get to work with a new team. I think it is all of their hard work – all of the seniors – that have led us to this moment. I’m so happy we get to carry on this legacy.”
“Maybe I will fail all of my classes and come back for this,” Isabel Edgar said with a laugh.
Junior drum major Adam Shew said the juniors and seniors had their shot to be on a big stage when they performed in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
“We are really proud that they get their shot,” drum major junior Andrea Gordon said.
The 220-member band applied for a 2017 spot in March submitting a video of its field show along with a host of other information.
“I can’t say I was completed surprised,” said co-director Leon Sieve said of RHS’s selection.
He said parade officials contacted the directors about two weeks ago with the invite.
“I knew we had a good shot of getting in knowing the level of kids we have and where we are at, I kind of felt like we were going to get there,” Sieve said.
Wesley Whatley, the parade’s creative director, said it was the band’s on- and off-the-field record that impressed.
“These are some of the finest marching band students in the state of Minnesota and the country,” he said. “We are amazed with the creative that this band puts on the field. Rosemount is a trend-setting band. They are innovative. They are not afraid to make really bold choices.
“For our parades, our audiences want to be surprised,” Whatley said. “They want a band to delight them, to surprise our audience in an innovative and an exciting way. We know Rosemount does that each and every fall.”
Whatley said the selection process also included a review of how band members’ academic achievement and how they interact with other bands at competitions.
RHS band directors have consistently commented after field show competitions in Minnesota and beyond how band members and their parent followers are supportive of other teams with cheering and congratulations.
“What we saw was a band that is committed to excellence in every way,” Whatley said. “This program is developing leaders and developing great students in the classroom. And we have 50 million people (watching our parade), (these students) deserve that kind of a spotlight.
“We are really excited to shine a bright spotlight on the kids of Rosemount,” Whatley said.
With more than 50 million viewers across the country and more than 3.5 million spectators that line 2 miles of New York City streets each year, the parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event.
“This opportunity will not only give our band students a life changing experience but will bring the Rosemount community together,” co-director Ben Harloff said. “The fall of 2017 will be the 100th year anniversary of Rosemount High School and we are looking forward to sharing our musical talents with the Macy’s Parade viewers.” The band will spend the next 18 months planning for the parade, which will include rehearsals and fundraising events.
“It will only drive us to work harder knowing that we will be on national TV,” Colette Edgar said.
“I think it is really good motivation for the next two years,” Shew said.
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