The president of the Tournament of Roses Parade is in Springfield this week to meet with MO State Pride Band members and administration in advance of their participation in the parade. Michele Skalicky reports.
Just after Christmas, the Missouri State Pride Band will head west to march in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. They're one of 15 bands that were chosen to take part.
The Tournament of Roses President C.L. Keedy is in Springfield promoting the band's appearance, meeting with the band and helping with fundraising.
As president, he challenged the music committee for the parade to come up with international bands to fit the parade's theme, "Passport to the World's Celebrations," as well as domestic bands. They invited bands from Switzerland, Canada, Japan and El Salvador as well as three university bands—MO State, South Dakota State and the VA Military Institute. 8 high school bands were chosen.
Keedy became acquainted with the Pride Band several years ago. When they participated in the Rose Parade in 1995, he chaired the music committee
The Missouri State Pride Band has received an extra honor: it gets to be the honor band, which will be the lead band in the parade
The Pride Band will be part of a special 2 ½ minute opening show that will be broadcast and will then lead the 5 ½ mile parade.
Director of Bands Jerry Hoover says being the honor band will help MO State stand out
800,000 people are expected to watch the parade on the street and many thousands more will watch on television. Keedy says the parade is shown in close to foreign countries and territories.
A caravan of chartered buses will carry the band to California beginning on the day after Christmas. Chris Kauffmann is one of the band's drum majors
Besides the Rose Parade, the MO State Pride Band will perform in a field show, Bandfest, sponsored by the Tournament of Roses and will also perform at Disneyland and at the Crystal Cathedral.
Needless to say, the band members are excited about the upcoming trip
The band still needs to raise about $30,000 of the $260,000 needed for the trip. To donate, call the band office at 836-5454.