Annual bands – Part 1

Among each year’s contingent of Rose Parade marching bands, there are a few that are invited back year after year. For the Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, 2014 will mark its 95th year of participation. Now that’s tradition! Wearing signature red jackets and led by some thirty tambourine players, the band uses the Rose Parade to enhance visibility of the Salvation Army’s mission to meet human needs.

The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band

The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band

Its annual red kettle campaign, started in 1891, helps feed millions of people during the holiday season, reaching people as far away as Korea, Japan and Chile. Coming up in just a couple of weeks is another annual fundraising event: National Donut Day on June 7. The Salvation Army started this program during the Great Depression to commemorate the “donut lassies,” female Salvation Army members who provided writing supplies, stamps, home-cooked meals and – of course – donuts for soldiers on the front lines during World War I.

PCC Tournament of Roses Honor Band

PCC Tournament of Roses Honor Band with Band Director Kyle Luck, front

Though its participation isn’t quite as long-standing as the Salvation Army’s, the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band is no slouch – it will be making its 85th Rose Parade appearance when New Year’s Day 2014 rolls around. In addition to PCC Lancer Marching Band members, this group includes high school musicians from all over Southern California who audition for the opportunity to be part of a band that consistently impresses the crowds on Colorado Boulevard and couches all over the world.

A subset of the Honor Band, the Herald Trumpets is a super-skilled group of nine trumpet players and a snare drummer bestowed the honor of introducing the Royal Court. The competition for these prestigious positions is especially tough, with more than 80 trumpeters and 50 percussionists under consideration. Sporting white berets and rose-embroidered capes, they perform unique compositions at a variety of events, “heralding” the arrival of the Rose Queen and Princesses at a number of appearance prior to January 1 and then, of course, as the Macy*s float rolls down the parade route with the Royal Court waving to all.

The Herald Trumpets

The Herald Trumpets

What’s your favorite annual Rose Parade tradition?

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