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Area students chosen to march in Rose Parade

Tournament of Roses Honor Band is made up of ‘exceptional high school’ musicians who audition

Posted: January 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band at the parade on Tuesday. Several local high school students were selected to participate in the band.

A small collection of “exceptional” Santa Clarita Valley high school musicians took part in one of America’s biggest and most respected traditions Tuesday when they marched in Rose Parade 2013.

The local students were hand-picked to join the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band Tuesday as it wound its way through the streets of Pasadena, as the eyes of the world watched and millions listened.

“It was amazing to turn a corner and see the stands filled with thousands of people cheering you on,” said Hart High School student Kenneth Eernisse.

“Right before the turn, you can’t see anything and then it hits you.”

Eernisse, who plays a brass instrument called a euphonium, and flutist Teddy Chik, also from Hart, were invited as “exceptional high school musicians” to join the PCC Lancer Marching Band in the Rose Parade.

Also taking part were students Mike Smalley, of Valencia, and Joshua Malone.

Having marched in every Rose Parade since 1930, the Tournament of Roses Honor Band is made up of Lancer Marching Band members and “exceptional high school” musicians auditioned from throughout Southern California.

More than 600 high school students audition each year for the opportunity to take part in one of the nation’s oldest and most revered traditions.

The first Rose Parade took place Jan. 1, 1890.

Today, the New Year’s tradition is seen by an estimated 700,000 parade attendees and by millions of people around the world.

Although Tuesday’s experience was daunting, local musicians managed to keep it together.

“You have to make sure you don’t get star struck,” Eernisse said. “And, there were times I got a little star struck.”

For Chik, the experience was motivational.

“It was fun and it went by really quickly,” he told The Signal Tuesday night.

Chik had to wake up at 4 a.m. to make the drive to Pasadena in time for the 2-hour parade and the 5.5 mile march along its route.

The PCC band was 21st in a lineup of 93 parade participants, behind the President’s family and the Nurse’s Float.



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