5-mile parade? Broken Arrow band rose to the occasion
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
1/02/13 at 7:41 AM
The 5-mile route of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., can be harsh, especially if you're also playing an instrument or performing with a flag or rifle corps.
But members of Broken Arrow High School's marching band came prepared for Tuesday's performance.
"It was great, and it was long," said the band's director, Darrin Davis. He added that the group's rigorous competition schedule and training regimen kept the 264-member band in shape.
"Every student started, and every student finished ," Davis said. "The kids handled the physical demands of the parade very well."
The hundreds of thousands of people along the parade route helped, he said.
"The students and performers feed off that energy," he said.
The band was invited to the parade after it won the 2011 Bands of America Grand National Championships for a second time. The band also took the championship title in 2006 and marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2008.
In addition to the thousands who watched along the parade route, millions more watched on television.
"It's an opportunity for great exposure for our school, our community and our state," Davis said. "We want to be a great ambassador for our community."
Mason Kiser, a drum major and senior at Broken Arrow, said the huge audience fueled the band to do better.
"There were so many people on the parade route. You see all the TV cameras and the thousands of people, (but) we weren't too nervous. We're used to performing," he said. "I think we did really good. We all performed the best we could."
Marching in the parade meant that the band didn't get to see much of the parade itself, but on Monday, they got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the floats and how they're made, Kiser said, and after the parade, members of the bands had lunch together.
Members of the roughly two dozen bands from all over the world that marched in the parade "broke down that language barrier and spoke in their universal language, which is music," Davis said.
The Broken Arrow band, plus its 15 band directors and 20 chaperones also have visited Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland and the Santa Monica Pier, with stops yet scheduled for Universal Studios Hollywood and the Grand Canyon.
The group will return to Oklahoma on Friday.
"Part of that (the fun and cultural activities) is experience of what we did four years ago," Davis said.
"We have two days longer than we did four years ago."
Although the band travels most years to St. Louis to compete in the Bands of America regional competition, and then the national championship in Indianapolis, Kiser said it was great to change things up his senior year.
"It was really cool to do something different and go out to California," he said. "It's a great way to end the year."
Original Print Headline: Parade a fitting finale
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Members of Broken Arrow High School's marching band participate in Tuesday's Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Every performer in the 264-member band started and finished the 5-mile parade. PHIL WEVER/Jolesch Photography/Courtesy
The Broken Arrow High School marching band was the only band to represent Oklahoma in this year's Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif. PHIL WEVER/Jolesch Photography/Courtesy