Monthly Archives: January 2010

Tuesday is South Kitsap Band Day in Olympia, Gov. Says

By Chris Henry
Gov. Christine Gregoire has proclaimed Tuesday South Kitsap High School Marching Band Day.
Gregoire signed the proclamation Jan. 8 in honor of the band’s performance in the 2010 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
South Kitsap was chosen in October, 2008 from among more than 60 applicants for the opportunity to play in the Rose Parade. This year, there were 16 slots open to applicants.
An estimated one million people each year line the streets of Pasadena to watch the 5 1/2-mile parade, and Tournament of Roses officials claim millions more watch the show around the world, with broadcasts in 217 countries.
Band Director Gary Grams, who marched as a student in the 1991 Tournament of Roses Parade with the Wyoming High School All-State Centennial Marching Band, wanted his students to be able to share the experience. The students practiced intensively from midsummer on, including calisthenics to prepare themselves for the parade.
Grams will travel to Olympia next month for a ceremonial signing of the proclamation.

Proclamation for SKHS Marching Band 2010

SK Has Competition from Kingston in Battle O’ Bands

Members of the South Kitsap High School Marching Band, resting on their laurels after a marathon performance in the 2010 Rose Parade, may want to take note of some competition on the horizon in their own backyard.

The Kingston High School Buccaneer Marching Band is proving itself a force to be reckoned with. The band, formed three years when the high school opened, has entered the annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by KZOK and The Rock Wood-Fired Pizza & Spirits. As of Thursday, they were in sixth place in the preliminary round of the contest, involving online voting via text messages.

The top 10 bands will be determine by online voting — up to 10 text messages per phone per day are allowed. The winner will be chosen Feb. 5 by a panel of judges. South Kitsap and Kingston are among 33 Washington high schools competing for a chance to win $10,000. The runner-up band wins $5,000. The band that shows the most spirit and effort will earn $2,500.

If I’m not mistaken, Kitsap County is unique in having two bands in the contest.

Let’s look at how things have gone so far for South Kitsap in the Battle of the Bands. Year One, 2008: The band is among the finalists and its performance of a medley of Beatles tunes, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” is included on a CD from the contest. Online voting that year was disrupted by a hacker. Year two, 2009: South Kitsap wins the popular vote hands down, but the panel of judges picks Liberty High School as the winner, placing SK third. That $10,000 would have so come in handy for the Rose Parade trip. Sign band director, Gary Grrrrrams.

This year, South Kitsap is at the top of its game, with a video performance of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a bad Name,” the same song they played block after block at the Rose Parade. Kingston, meanwhile, has stepped out with their video version of “Radar Love” by Golden Earring.

Check out both videos below, then exercise your rights as a citizen of the United States of Kitsap. Text to 24300. If you favor South Kitsap, vote rock28 (no spaces, hyphens etc). If you’re rooting for the underdog, Kingston, type in rock10. Or split your 10 votes per day. Heck, I don’t care. But whatever you do, show your Kitsap colors. After all, we are THE Washington hotbed of bands that rock. No?

South Kitsap High School – “You Give Love a Bad Name”

Kingston High School Band – “Radar Love”

Video: SK Band at Bandfest 2010

The South Kitsap High School Marching Band performed at Bandfest 2010 on Dec. 30 at Pasadena City College.

This video was made available to the Kitsap Sun by Farmer’s Insurance, an official supporter of the Tournament of Roses. Notice at the beginning, the announcer gives props to local Farmer’s agent Brain Horch. Working with the Washington state office, Horch orchestrated a dodgeball tournament called “Dodge for Roses” that raised $3,900 for the band’s trip.

Chris Henry, reporter

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Comparing Television Coverage of SK Band in Rose Parade

I got an e-mail (below) from former Kitsap Sun reporter and Road Warrior blogger Travis Baker, on television coverage of the South Kitsap High School Marching Band in the Rose Parade New Year’s Day in Pasadena. It seems the amount of air time they got varied quite a bit from station to station.

I’d love to hear from other readers about what they saw on different channels.

I do know South Kitsap’s band got a pretty good spot on KTLA, one of the major networks in Los Angeles. Meegan and I were eating lunch in a restaurant after the parade, and I happened to catch the segment on the SK Band, broadcast obviously not in real time. They had about two to three minutes of video of the band from various angles, various sections, with brief but glowing commentary. They noted it was South Kitsap’s first trip to the Rose Parade. The announcer talked about their connection to the Beatles (the band’s performance of a Beatles medley, including “Magical Mystery Tour” was part of a CD from The Rock Wood Fired Pizza/KZOK Battles of the Bands II in 2009), and she said, “We love this band.”

Here’s what Travis had to say:
“I don’t know if the following would be the source of a follow-up story, and I’m not even sure I’m correct, as I was recording both the ABC and NBC Rose Parade telecast, and jumping back and forth between them live, then went to Hallmark at 10 p.m. after the first two terminated the parade telecast to shown football and hockey.
Hallmark’s telecast was the same one shown live on Travel at 8 a.m. Hallmark was the best bet, as it went to a rather long run of commercials whenever a band appeared, then picked it up where they left off after the commercials, so no part of the parade was missed.
SK’s Band got good exposure on Hallmark. I don’t know whether Travel was able to do the same thing, but I don’t see how it could. Live coverage required skipping whatever parade entrant went by during commercials.
Anyway, the SK band got about the same brief exposure as all the bands on NBC. But it appeared to me that ABC stiffed SK entirely by going to a commercial when they were passing by.
If I’m right, anyone relying on just ABC to see the SK band would have been disappointed. ABC’s telecast was superior to NBC’s in other regards, as it profiled a lot of the floats rather than just talking about them as they passed.
Unfortunately, I deleted the ABC recording before I checked.

The video on your Web site was terrific. Do you know if there was more than one shooter or did the only one race around to get the band from both sides?”

Travis, in answer to your question, the shooter was me, and yes, we did have to hoof it from our place in the media grandstand at the beginning of the parade to catch up with the band at the end. We walked the side streets, glancing over nervously from time to time, wondering if the band was ahead of us or behind us. At one point, I recognized a couple of the floats going by and realized we were ahead of South Kitsap. I also saw some people sitting on top of RVs to watch the parade. I asked one guy if I could climb up to film the band, but he turned me down. The second family I asked said “sure!” So I sat 14 feet high with their delightful grandkids (one of whom is featured in th video) and had a completely unobstructed view, no other videographers jostling my elbows. Meegan and I figured that, by the time we got from the start of the parade to the end, we had walked somewhere between 6 and 8 miles, including the mileage we put in maneuvering around the crowds.

Chris Henry, reporter

Rose Parade Videos

Here’s a video of the band posted on YouTube by Rachel Brown’s dad Shihan Brown (hope I have your first name correct). This one is cool because it shows an aerial view and their sharp corners.

Here’s the video posted with the Kitsap Sun’s coverage of Parade Day.And here’s one more from YouTube. The SKHS Band performs “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi. Video is for KZOK’s “School of the Rock Battle of the Bands 3.” Video made by SKHS Video Production.

March Of The Roses

After three years of preperation, hard work, and new peoples, the band has finally made it through the Rose Bowl Parade. There really are no words to explain how I feel towards all of my bandies, it really has been awesome. Now that the parade is over I have finally received my “trip of a lifetime”. Everytime I think about today I get tears in my eyes. I’m just so proud of what the has accomplished this year, and thepast two years. As Grams has said, our life will never be the same ever again. The band family has never been closer. I’m going to cherish this trip for the rest of my life.

They Did It … In South Kitsap Style

Well, they made it. The Rose Parade finished up at noonish.

South Kitsap High School Band members finished strong, their music reverberating loudly, exciting the crowds in the tunnel under the highway right before the end of the parade.

When we met them at Victory Park, they were sweaty and looking slightly dazed. For a few minutes, it seemed they were too tired to react. Then we started seeing a few smiles, then grins, then joking around … the band we all know and love.

As they passed other bands on the sidewalk, they gave each other high fives, savoring the moment and their accomplishment.

They got out of their parade jackets, got their In-N-Out burgers and sat down in the shade to eat.

The band from Guatemala still had loads of energy, apparently, as they were playing loudly to the enjoyment of the crowd.

As kids in other bands drove by in buses, the South Kitsap kids waved to them and cheered with them … and themselves.

Countdown to Parade Time

It’s about 20 minutes until the parade starts. Meegan and I have found our places in the media stand.

It is quite a zoo with thousands of people streaming down the street. There’s a Santa Claus on roller skates blowing a kazoo. Organized chaos pretty much.

We met up with the band at their hotel this morning and rode back to Pasadena with them. Everyone had a good case of nerves going. Some of the kids were feeling ill, not sure if from a bugs or general stress. No one had slept too well as New Year’s partyers kept them up most of the night. But several of the band members I talked to were putting on a brave face. They are ready they say.

Chris Henry, reporter