Rosy Day

The Tournament of Roses annual parade, now in its 121st year, is a tradition that helps billions of people around the world ring in the New Year. This year’s theme, “A Cut Above the Rest,” celebrates everyday heroes. Enjoy our 3rd annual photo spread.

Photos by Ben Chua, Ed Crockett, Tom Emerson and Ken Martinson/Marching.com

The Parade

New Year’s Celebration: Hailing from all around the world, 22 honored marching groups participated in this year’s Rose Parade. These included (pictured clockwise from far left) the Banda Musical Latina Pedro Molina from Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala; Danvers (Mass.) High School Falcon Marching Band; The Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band from Columbus, Ohio; Pickerington (Ohio) Central Marching Tiger Band; and the Soddy Daisy (Tenn.) Marching Trojans. View pictures of all the bands in our Web Exclusives section.

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Helping Others See

The Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band made history while marching in the Tournament of Roses. Not only were they the smallest band ever selected to play, but they were also the first blind marching band to participate in the 5-1/2-mile parade.

Co-director Carol Agler is confident that the performance would inspire. “It will open a lot of eyes,” she says. “It will open the eyes of other blind students and their parents as to what is possible for their children, and it will open the eyes of other band directors to show that this is very doable.”

The marching band program began in 2005 to complement the Ohio School for the Deaf’s revived football team. The band became a staple, regularly marching halftime shows. Each student has a sighted volunteer to help prevent collisions.

The road to Pasadena challenged the students. One night in December, the band spent 90 minutes marching around the school’s parking lots while working on a 105-degree parade turn. Heavy drums and joint issues did not stop the students, Agler says.

The band performed John Phillip Sousa’s “Military Escort” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” a piece that seemed highly appropriate for a parade that was themed, “A Cut above the Rest,” and featuring a blind marching band, Agler says.

The Game

The 96th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi proved to be a great match-up between No. 8 Ohio State University (OSU) and No. 7 Oregon University. The OSU football team won 27 to 17 while both bands gave great performances.

Go Bucks: The Ohio State University Marching Band from Columbus, Ohio, led by Dr. Jon R. Woods, entertained the audience with its classic pre-game show including its famous double “Script Ohio.” For halftime, the band performed a “Motown Sound” medley, including “Uptight,” “Heard It Through the Gravevine” and “I’ll Be There.”

Go Ducks: Led by Dr. Eric Wiltshire, the Oregon Marching Band from Eugene, Ore., performed “Back to the Future” for its halftime show. The band wears all-Nike apparel, a tradition that dates back to 2003 when Nike designed custom-made uniforms for the group to coordinate with the football team and cheerleaders.

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SEC Pep Bands

SEC Pep Bands Step In for Each Other

In a heartwarming show of sportsmanship, Southeastern Conference (SEC) pep bands stepped up and provided music for school’s whose bands couldn’t make it to their ...