India Kirssin | Staff Writer
Photo contributed by Mason Band Boosters Photo Committee
The Mason High School Marching Band swept into the new year with a rosy performance.
On January 1, the band marched five and a half miles through Pasadena, California, in the Rose Parade. The parade is known for its flower-covered floats, marching bands and equestrian units. It is followed by the Rose Bowl, the oldest college bowl game in the country.
Band Director Bob Bass said the parade offered many different opportunities for his band members.
“It gives the student an opportunity of a lifetime to perform in the ‘Super Bowl’ for bands in front of 700,000 people live and 81 million on TV,” Bass said. “(It) gives the families of the students, our school district, and our Mason community a sense of pride and accomplishment. It also puts the city of Mason on the map for many people outside of Ohio.”
Bass said one his favorite memories from the trip is how well his students conducted themselves.
“Our 313 students who attended the trip were model students and represented their families, their school, and their community at the highest level possible,” Bass said.
Senior Brady Miller said the parade was better than anyone thought it would be.
“My favorite part of the parade was how supportive the crowd was,” Miller said. “Every step of the parade was lined with absolutely massive amounts of people. Most of our parents were at the beginning of the parade and throughout the rest of the parade, we were cheered on by people who didn’t even know who we were. It was magical.”
On top of performing, band members were able to experience California with trips to the Santa Monica Pier, Universal Studios, West Hollywood and Disneyland, where they performed in the Disney Parade. They also experienced a special float viewing, where they were able to see The Rose Parade floats before New Year’s Day.
Band members also took a City Tour, which included a drive through Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, a tour of the Rodeo Drive mansions, and a stop at Mann’s Chinese Theater to see stars’ hands or footprints. The Hollywood Bowl and Sunset Strip were also featured.
Freshman Catherine Hyers said the trip helped bring people together and will benefit band performances in the future.
“A lot of people bonded and a lot of new friendships came out of this,” Hyers said. “This will help the band be more dynamic for future performances.”
Bass also mentioned the bond created between members of the band family and the effect it has on the future.
“This parade has draw together an already close family,” Bass said. “Our family includes the students, parents, and staff. The closer the bond, the more exciting and rewarding it is to be in our band program.”
Miller said the trip did more than strengthen their musical performance; it forged relationships within the program.
“This trip definitely brought us together,” Miller said. “It was the first time the band had flown anywhere together, and it was awesome getting to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world with the people who mean the most to you. It was a great way to end my high school marching band career.”
Bass said the trip was one of a kind.
“The parade was fantastic,” Bass said. “The trip can be categorized as a ‘trip of a lifetime’.”