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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

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

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

Band to Ring in the New Year Counting ZZZZs

Photographer Meegan Reid and I ahd a fund day with the band as they played tourist on the Santa Monica Pier.

The ocean was beautiful, and so was the weather. It was a little disorienting to be walking around in T-shirts in December.

They ate dinner at a nice Italian restaurant near the pier, joined by many parents, grandparents and others who are here for the parade. It was disorienting yet again for me to see familiar South Kitsap faces in the middle of Los Angeles.

Tonight the kids won’t be partying to welcome the New Year. With an early start and a long march yet ahead of them, they’re supposed to be asleep by 9:30 p.m.

Meegan and I have to hit the hay as well – hoping Ducks and Bucks fans at the Safari Inn, where we’re staying, won’t be too rowdy.

Catch you all tomorrow. Chris Henry, reporter

Seagulls and Surf
Seagulls and Surf

The past three days…

So three days ago the band had our first visit to Disneyland.  We had the full day to roam around the park. Yesterday we had a partial day in the park, and it was crowded! The reason why we only got a half day in the park was that in the evening the band got to open the holiday parade and march through Disneyland. Everyone finally got the feeling that Mr. Grams had been telling the band about. Then today we had Bandfest. The crowd loved us. We blew them all away with our wall of sound. And last but not least we had our dance with three other bands. It sounds like that everyone had a great time. The DJ was an awsome one. He is an old bandie and he even marched in the Rose Parade.

Megan Sanger ~ Mello

SKHS Marching Band at BandFest 2009

Wednesday was a working day for the SKHS Marching Band.  They left the hotel at about 8:45 am and headed to the Rose Bowl Stadium to have their pictures taken. Then off the Pasadena City College for the Tournament of Roses BandFest.  

It was raining.  There was a mix-up about their lunch. They were tired.  You would think that would be three strikes towards disaster.  But NOT for the SKHS Marching Band!  Mr. Grams gave them a rousing pep talk, they reached deep within to their inner WOLVES, and they rose as a PACK to the challenge to give it all they had and hold nothing back in their performance. 

To stay out of the rain, the bands warmed up in the covered multi-level parking garage next to the Pasadena City College Stadium.  South Kitsap took their turn warming up extremely seriously.  They were here to represent South Kitsap well and were determined to not let anything deter them from their mission! 


2009 SKHS Bandfest Drum

Some from the band were up until 1:00 am changing the ‘heads’ on the drums.  I wondered what that was all about.  Why would they go to all that trouble??  I didn’t realize until the drummers pulled out their drums this morning why that was so important.  Don’t they look grand?


2009 SKHS Bandfest 6

Wolf Pride!

2009 SKHS Bandfest 5

Wolf Pride!

2009 SKHS Bandfest 4

Wolf Pride!

2009 SKHS Bandfest 3

Wolf Pride!

2009 SKHS Bandfest 1

Wolf Pride!

2009 SKHS Band Marching Out at Bandfest2

The SKHS Marching Band circling the stadium after a superb performance at BandFest!

2009 SKHS Band Marching Out at Bandfest

The band marching past the cheering crowd at BandFest!

2009 SKHS Band Majors with Dr Cheney

Dr. Bev Cheney (retired SKSD Superintendent) came to Pasadena just to hear the band play in BandFest and at the Tournament of Roses parade!  Here she is (on the right) with the three student leaders of the band, Simone, James, and Paulla (left to right).

2009 SKHS Band Big Drummers

Sharp and attentive!

2009 SKHS Bandfest Mr Grams

Intensity was the word of the day!

Today was a proud day for South Kitsap.  Our kids represented our community with distinction, Wolf Pride, and great sound!  It was an enormous pleasure to be in the stands today and hear strangers talk about our band as very talented and strong.  One wondered how we could be so small and yet produce the best and strongest sound.  The only answer…  Excellence has not been considered optional for the South Kitsap Wolves!   It was a great day to be a Wolf!


-Kathryn Simpson