Joy in the Spotlight

I recently went to a career seminar called “Simplify to Amplify,” and one of the things the speaker shared was Oprah’s quote that everyone just wants to be heard, and everyone wants to matter.

While the quote originally relates to people’s desire to share their opinions and emotions, the sentiment also rings true for musicians and artists. People play their instruments, wave flags and dance as forms of communication.

Being in a small spotlight can flood a person’s heart with overwhelming joy. Now imagine that feeling magnified tenfold or even a hundredfold when that person performs on a national stage.

That dream of being heard comes true for more than a thousand band members participating in the Tournament of Roses every year. Approximately 800,000 people line the streets of Pasadena, and 84 million people worldwide watch the Rose Parade on television. For marching ensembles, there is no bigger event and no bigger reward.

Halftime Magazine is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of these groups in our 7th annual photo spread, “Dreaming of Roses,” as well as in a Q&A with one of the directors of Rosemount (Minn.) Marching Band, which was recently named the “Best Band in Minnesota” and participated in the Rose Parade for the first time.

This issue also highlights students performing as part of all-star ensembles in events all throughout the country. These opportunities include being a part of various Rose Parade honor bands as well as the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, the Tournament of Bands All-Star Marching Band performing at the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Read about these “Marching All-Stars.”

Finally, we feature an article about the opportunities for high school groups to be part of the halftime shows at college bowl games where they get to experience a large audience, national recognition and camaraderie with other band students.

For marching band participants (and college football fans), bowl season is perhaps the most exciting time of the year. We hope you enjoyed it and hope you continue to live it through this issue.

Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief