Happy New Year! Hope you had a great holiday with family and friends. With every new year brings the opportunity for reflection as well as new beginnings.
First off, congratulations to all of the marching bands who have successfully completed another season. We know the dedication that goes into every program and acknowledge your achievement. Our “Fall Championships Wrap-Up” provides an overview of the major national and regional circuit results.
Even after competition finals have ended, many ensembles choose to expand their season by marching in holiday parades. We feature five events, page 14, that have attracted groups from near and far to spread holiday cheer in their cities and in televised programs throughout the country.
A special shout-out goes to all of the bands that participated in this year’s Rose Parade. More than 40 million viewers around the world saw the final result of your 14 months of preparation. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” when you dream big. Our 6th annual Tournament of Roses photo spread, page 20, highlights some of the memorable moments.
Kudos are also in store for the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, which celebrated its 100th anniversary and supported its football team in winning the school’s 15th national title. Our Q&A with director Dr. Kenneth Ozzello discusses the band’s history and the aspects that make it unique.
Like many have experienced throughout this holiday season, life can change in an instant; other times, change occurs gradually. University of Missouri’s current head drum major, Paul Heddings, experienced both kinds of change when his retina detached, and he became legally blind. Though a musician at heart, Heddings had also been an athlete who found himself needing to redefine himself. By working hard to compensate for his potentially devastating disability, Heddings proved that “impossible” dreams can happen. Heddings shares his story in his own words.
We hope you find Heddings’ story and all of the articles in this issue to be inspirational as you reach for your life goals.
Keep on Marching … and Dreaming,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief