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History in the making, band heads to Rose Parade

By Heather Hintze 3:48 PM December 28, 2013

The band is the first from Alaska to play at the Rose Parade

ANCHORAGE – The Colony High School Marching Band will make history at the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena Calif.

It’s the first time in the event’s 125-year history a band from Alaska has been invited to play.

“It was like more exciting than Christmas if that’s believable,” said Peyton Shaw, a junior who plays the mellophone, the marching band version of the French horn. “I kind of can’t believe it. You don’t really think it’s going to happen then you’re here at the airport and it’s like, wow, it’s actually happening.”

At the Anchorage Airport on Friday, students waited patiently with their instruments packed up. They couldn’t be more ecstatic about the opportunity.

“I’m probably most excited for the big TV corner,” said Nicole Kodya, a junior who plays the trumpet. “I know I’m just going to be full of adrenaline because it’s such a big deal and a big thing to experience. I know the chances of it happening again are just so small.”

“I’m looking forward to this lifetime experience,” said Drum Major Thomas Soto. “The Rose Bowl is known as the granddaddy of them all and it’s once of the premiere marching band experiences. To be a small band from Alaska getting to do that is incredible.”

While a trip to the Rose Parade is a first, it’s not the first time the band’s been in the national spotlight.

“We have a pretty good resume,” said Director Jamin Burton. “We played for Obama’s inauguration and we’ve done the Sugar Bowl and the National Independence Day parade. So we spent the past ten years building a resume worthy of getting picked.”

As they prepared to board the plane, they knew the pressure would be on to perform their best.

“I think it will go pretty well, but there’s always going to be some stress,” Soto said. “The parade route is going to have 30 million people from TV viewing us so that’s unnerving in itself.”

The Rose Parade begins at 8 a.m. PST on Wednesday, Jan. 1. It will be broadcast on KTVA 11.

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