Category Archives: Tournament of Roses

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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Of Horse Poop and Brass Spit

From the past two posts and a couple of phone calls I’ve had with blogger/band groupie Kathryn Simpson, it’s apparent the band is burning the candle at both ends. Glad to hear they’re hanging in there and sounding brassy as ever.

Speaking of brass, anyone who’s ever played a brass instrument knows that the process generates a considerable amount of spit. Before the band left for L.A., I was chatting with drum major Paulla Santos, and I asked her what brass players will do about that during the parade. I know from watching my husband play French horn that occasionally, when there’s a break in the music, he pulls one of the little valve thingys off and dumps the built up saliva out of the horn. But you can’t very well do that while marching along. It just wouldn’t look dignified.

Paulla told me that marching band instruments have spit valves for on-the-go dumping. The player just flips the valve and out it goes. Which got me thinking, there are 23 bands in the parade, most with 200+ members. Granted not all are brass players but, still there’s got to be hundreds of little showers of spit raining down on the streets of Pasadena every few minutes.

I asked my husband to estimate how much spit he thought would be generated in over the four hours of the parade. He guessed 10 gallons. I wonder if the Tournament of Roses folks have that statistic handy anywhere.

Oh, well, I’ve obviously had way too much time to think about this parade.

Speaking of which, Paulla and I also discussed horse poop. The band leaders got a Power Point from the Tournament of Roses folks detailing protocol for all sorts of situations. The Rose Parade, unlike other parades, doesn’t include stops (handy for scooping up horse poop). Things just keep moving along without a lot of opportunity to scoop, so if said poop falls in an inconvenient place, bands just have to power on through it. I’m sure, if that does happen, they’ll handle it with grace.

Chris Henry, reporter

P.S. Kitsap Sun photographer Meegan Reid and I are at the airport ready to fly to L.A. and meet up with the band this afternoon in Santa Monica.

12 hours

Our last football game.

I can’t believe that in only 12 hours the South Kitsap High School Marching Band is going to be on a few buses heading toward Sea-Tac, and then on down to California. This has been an amazing ride South Kitsap! Now we get to actually live the dream that we all have been dreaming for the past two years. Congradulations to everyone who has stuck with us this whole time. 

Megan Sanger ~ Mellophone Section Leader

A Very Busy Week Ahead

SKHS Band accepting the Tournament of Roses Flag on June 11, 2009.
SKHS Band accepting the Tournament of Roses Flag on June 11, 2009.

Though they were notified a few months before that they were invited, the official invitation to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade  is the Tournament of Roses flag.  It was officially presented to the SKHS Marching Band on June 11, 2009, at Joe Knowles Stadium, by Sally Bixby, from Tournament of Roses Executive Committee (see picture at left).

That was six months ago.  Now, in less than a week, the SKHS Marching Band will represent South Kitsap in front of hundreds of thousands in person and millions on national TV.  There is no group better prepared to represent their community!  Let’s hear it for the band!!  

In addition to performing on January 1st in the Rose Bowl Parade, the SKHS Marching Band will also be performing at Disneyland (on Tuesday, December 29th),  and participating in BandFest at the Rose Bowl Stadium (on Wednesday, December 30th) .  They have a few additional fun, exciting, and educational activities  during the week too.  Not to mention daily practice sessions.  They will be quite busy all week long.

As ‘band groupies’ for the week,  we hope you enjoy the pictures, videos, and comments as the Tournament of Roses week marches on for the SKHS Marching Band.

Special shout-out and thank you to Mr. Grams, the SKHS Band Boosters, and most especially, every parent of the band members.   As they play their hearts out and march 5.5 miles on January 1st, they have you to thank for believing in them, supporting them, and teaching them to give it their best step forward each and every day!

-Kathryn Simpson

Kitsap Sun Editor Recalls Her Rose Parade March

One of the main reasons we, at the Kitsap Sun, took note early on of South Kitsap High School Marching Band’s March to the Rose Bowl Parade was that Local News Editor Kim Rubenstein is a Rose Parade alum.

“Do they know what they’re in for?” she said (or words to that effect).

Rubenstein marched in Pasadena in 1997 with the Madison High School from Madison, SD. She was the one who tipped me off to the fact that the parade, all 5 1/2 miles of it, is a physical and well as musical feat.

Kim is in, like, her early 30s — i.e. young to an Old Phart like me — and probably has changed little since she marched in the parade as a high school student. We tried to get her dad to send us a picture of her as an awkward teenager. He sent us a couple pictures of her band. There — you can see her. She is the one in the trumpet section wearing a white jacket, black pants and maroon hat.

Madison High School Band
Madison High School Band

Kim says:
“We left South Dakota and there was like 2 feet of snow. So the weather in sunny California seemed awesome (we were even swimming in the Pacific Ocean while the Californians were wearing parkas)..but it probably won’t seem as warm to the South Kitsap kids.”

South Dakota in Winter
South Dakota in Winter

My comment: among the many rules the SK band students have to follow, they aren’t allowed to swim in the ocean.

Rubenstein goes on:

“Eating was a HUGE production. We had to try to pack 200 band kids in one restaurant. Not sure how South Kitsap is handling it.”

My comment: The tour company is issuing vouchers or arranged for a large seating at various restaurants. Rubenstein, your group were the guinea pigs.

She continues:
“I know for a couple meals, they just passed out envelopes of cash so we could eat where we wanted without burdening one of the eating establishments.”

My comment: Or buy lottery tickets.

“On New Year’s Eve, we had a dance with all the kids and all of the families who came along. Not sure if SK is doing anything like that…”

My comment: They are, more on that later, but not on New Year’s. They’ll be in bed by 9:30 p.m. the night before the parade.

Rubenstein says:
“I remember being exhausted at the end of the parade. I played the trumpet (played first and as a result, had ALL the high notes) and I could not hold my arms up by the time we got to the end (and I considered myself in good shape!). — Me: She still is in good shape. — Can’t remember what we had to eat at the end of the parade route, but it was something loaded with carbs, and tasted soo good. — Me: SK Band will get In-N-Out Burger — I also remember being assailed by obnoxious football fans at various points of the parade — Me: the heathens — They expected us to play every moment of the five-mile route, and when we were stopping to take a rest and just marching through, they would all yell “PLAY SOMETHING!!!” I wanted to shoot them. — Me: Don’t blame you.

Good luck SK. Take it from a pro. If someone says, “Play something!” Yell back, “Play it yourself, suckers!”

Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun reporter

Preview the Rose Parade Route

Follow the South Kitsap High School Marching Band in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Rose Parade, Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Parade, Pasadena, Calif.

The five-and-a-half mile Rose Parade route begins at the corner of Ellis Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. The Parade travels north on Orange Grove at a leisurely 2.5-mile per hour pace and then turns east onto Colorado Boulevard where the majority of the Parade takes place. At the end of the route, the Parade turns north onto Sierra Madre Boulevard and ends at Sierra Madre and Villa Street.

View Rose Parade in a larger map

SKHS Band: What You Need to Know

Here’s some information on the South Kitsap High School Band that Director Gary Grams submitted to the Tournament of Roses Association. When national television announcers see the band marching down the street at the Rose Parade, they’ll reference this information.

Gary Grams
Gary Grams

I should mention that Tournament of Roses President-elect Sally Bixby, who visited the band in June, told me yesterday that she was especially impressed with the band given its size. Most of the bands in the Rose Parade are at least twice as large as the Wolves’ band. Most have a larger staff, too. Grams gets it done with the help of assistant director Michael Paul Koontz, and drum majors Paulla Santos, James Damian and Simone Schaffer, who provide essential leadership as well as literally leading the band in performances.

Here’s Grams on Band History:
There is not a recorded history for the Band Program at SKHS, I only know what has been told to me about the band. Back in “the day” the SKHS Marching Band used to be called the Marching Machine. They won every competition they went to for many years.

Now for a more recent history of the band. South Kitsap High School is the largest 10-12 HS in the state of Washington with a total enrollment of 2500+ students. We currently have over 100 members in the band program that participate in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Pep Band, Jazz Band, and of course Marching Band.

When I arrived at SKHS I was the third band director in four years and started out with 48 students. We have grown significantly over the past seven years and now have over 100 students in the program. We strive for excellence in everything we do and take a lot of pride in the product that we produce.

In my tenure at SKHS the band and I have had many wonderful and unique performing opportunities, such as performing for the homecomings of three U.S. Naval ships: the USS Camden, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS John C. Stennis.

For the last two years the marching band competed in a Battle of the Bands competition sponsored by the Seattle radio station KZOK and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza. Although the band did not win last year, we were included on a CD of the top ten bands of the competition. This year we won third place. The competition has been a great experience for the band.

We have also participated annually in the Armed Forces Day Parade in Bremerton, Washington (largest Armed Forces Parade in the Country) in the Apple Blossom Parade in Wenatchee, WA., the Macy’s Holiday Parade in Seattle, WA. and the Victoria Day Parade in Victoria B.C.

The Marching Band also performs regularly in our community in such events as grand openings and other special occasions. Everything we do we strive for musical and marching excellence. Our strengths lie in our powerful sound and musical accuracy as well as marching excellence.”

SKHS Band’s Awards and Honors:
* KZOK and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza – Battle of the Bands Competition, sponsored by KZOK Radio: 2008, Successfully recorded “Magical Mystery Tour Medley” for a promotional CD from the contest that included the top ten bands from the competition; 2009, won popular vote in online competition to determine finalists, then named to 3rd Place by panel of judges.
* Macy’s Holiday Parade—Seattle Washington (2005 to present): 2008, Featured as opening musical act for parade; 2007, Award for Musical Excellence; 2006, Best Marching Band.
* Yearly participation in the Armed Forces Day Parade in Bremerton, Wa., (largest armed forces parade in the country), 2003 – present: 2009, 1st Place in our division; 2008, 1st Place in our division; 2007, 1st Place in our division; 2006, 2nd Place in our division.
* Yearly Participation in the Husky Band Day, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 2004 – present.
* Yearly participation in the Victoria Day Parade, Victoria, B.C., 2003-present (except 2007 due to technical difficulties): 2009, 3rd Place in our division; 2008, 3rd Place in our division.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS John C. Stennis (aircraft carrier) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2003-04 school year.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS Carl Vinson (aircraft carrier) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2003-04 school year.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS Camden (support vessel) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2002-03 school year.
Other Parade Awards: 1st Place, Apple Blossom Parade, Wenatchee, Wa.; 3rd Place, Victoria Day Parade, Victoria B.C.

Tournament of Roses History Includes Ostrich Races

On Jan. 1, the South Kitsap High School Marching Band will play in the 2010 Rose Parade. The Parade’s history goes way back.

Before there was a Rose Bowl Game, there was the Tournament of Roses Parade, staged in 1890 by members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club. These former residents of the East and Midwest were eager to showcase their new home’s milder weather.
“In New York, people are buried in snow,” member Charles F. Holder is said to have announced at a club meeting. “Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
Set in the City of Pasadena, the festival included marching bands, motorized floats and flower bedecked horse-and-carriages. There were games on the town lot which was renamed Tournament Park in 1900. These included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant. The elephant won.

Rose Parade History - An Early Float
Rose Parade History - An Early Float

Eastern newspapers began to cover the event, which grew until, in 1895, it became too much for the hunt club to handle. That year, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed and has managed the festival ever since.
In 1902, a football game was added to the festivities. It was the first post-season college football game ever held, Stanford University versus the University of Michigan. Stanford was thumped 49-0 and gave up in the third quarter.
For the next several years, the Tournament of Roses Association dumped football in place of Roman-style chariot races. But in 1916, the association reprised the football game, and it’s been a tradition ever since.
Within a few years, attendance at the game outgrew the stands in Tournament Park. The Tournament’s 1920 President William L. Leishman, spearheaded the construction of a “modern” bowl-type football stadium, similar to the Yale Bowl, in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted its first New Year’s football game in 1923 and soon earned the nickname “The Rose Bowl.”
Nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game has been a sellout since 1947. That year’s contest was the first game played under the Tournament’s exclusive agreement with the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences.
These days the Tournament of Roses Parade has gone high tech, with floats using computerized animation and made with exotic natural materials from around the world, including — you guessed it — thousands of roses.

The 2010 Rose Bowl Game
The 96th Rose Bowl Game, following the Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1, pits the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Oregon Ducks. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. (PST) on ABC and ESPN radio.
The Rose Bowl will also be the site of the 2010 Citi BCS (Bowl Championship Series) National Championship Game on Jan. 7 featuring the Number 2 BCS ranked Texas Longhorns versus the No. 1 BCS ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. The game will be broadcast on ABC.

Source: Tournament of Roses Association