The Tournament of Roses announced the choice of the 19 marching bands that will appear in the 128th Rose Parade on Jan. 2, 2017 in a press release on Thursday. Two additional units, representing the universities chosen to send teams to the 103rd Rose Bowl Game, will also march. A last-minute entry, the US Air Force Band, has been included at the request of Pres. Brad Ratliff.
Volunteers from the Tournament of Roses audition the bands two years in advance of the parade, so they have time to raise funds for travel, accommodations, and visits to local attractions. Only six bands have standing invitations: Los Angeles Unified School District, Pasadena City College, Salvation Army, US Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, Bands of America Honor Band or winner of the Bands of America Competition, and the winner of the Los Angeles County Fair Competition. Other high schools can only march once every four years.
Pres. Ratliff, who plays trumpet, French horn and ukulele himself, will visit each band over the next few weeks to issue a formal invitation, an event many musical organizations use as a fundraising opportunity. Each unit must cover all its own expenses, and foreign bands must arrange the necessary passports and visas. One band, Instituto Pedro Molina from Guatemala, was forced to drop out of the 2016 parade because it had not secured the proper travel papers.
Selected units must demonstrate outstanding musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. They must also train for the rigorous 5 ½-mile parade and one of the three Bandfest shows in the days preceding the Rose Parade, which can take place in temperatures from 32 degrees to 85 degrees. The process begins with an application and a packet of photos, videos and letters of recommendation nearly two years prior to the parade. Band applications for the 2018 Rose Parade will be available on the Tournament of Roses website in spring 2016.
The inclusion of the US Air Force Band in celebration of its 75th anniversary was the idea of Barbara Cocks, whose company Huerta Quorum put on the pre-parade festival Live on Green. As Ratliff revealed in an interview with byteclay.com, referenced in the Suggested Articles list below, he ran her request by the Parade Policy Committee and it was approved.
Marching bands slated for the 128th Rose Parade
- Arcadia High School – Arcadia High School Apache Marching Band and Color Guard, Arcadia, Calif.
- Bands of America Honor Band (Representing all 50 States) – Indianapolis, Ind.
- Broken Arrow High School – The Pride of Broken Arrow, Broken Arrow, Okla.
- Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Industrial No. 3 – Buhos Marching Band, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
- Foothill High School – Falcon Marching Band, Henderson, Nev.
- Gifusho Green Band, Gifu, Japan
- Grove City High School – The Grove City High School Marching Band, Grove City, Ohio
- Lawrence Township – Marching Pride of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Los Angeles Unified School District – All District High School Honor Band, Los Angeles, Calif
- Martin Luther King, Jr. High School – MLK “Kings of Halftime,” Lithonia, Ga.
- Niceville High School – Eagle Pride, Niceville, Fla.
- Ooltewah High School – Ooltewah High School Marching Band, Ooltewah, Tenn.
- Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band & Herald Trumpets –Pasadena, Calif.
- Pulaski High School – Red Raider Marching Band, Pulaski, Wis.
- Rose Bowl Game participating band #1
- Rose Bowl Game participating band #2
- The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band – Los Angeles, Calif
- Santa Clara Vanguard – Santa Clara, Calif.
- United States Air Force Band – District of Columbia
- United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band – MCAS Miramar, MCRD San Diego and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
- Westlake High School – Chaparral Band, Austin, Texas