Rose Bowl Parade
November 2, 2021
Back in 2019, the Waukee Warrior Regiment (WWR) was selected to march in the 2022 New Year’s Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Viewed by millions of people all over the world, Waukee’s band programs will get the amazing experience of being a part of a huge honor and tradition. Waukee Warrior Regiment will be marching alongside Waukee Northwest Royal Brigade (NWRB) in the parade. Both bands are thrilled for this once-in-a-lifetime experience to be in the parade together, given only 12 high school bands were invited. “It is such an honor to be able to represent our school and community,” Drum Major Lucas Haviland said.
Not only are the bands representing the Waukee community, but the Waukee community is representing them as well. With all of the fundraising and events to help give funds to around 300 students in the band traveling to Pasadena, the representation of the bands throughout the community is very important. “I love seeing how the community has supported the Waukee Band Program throughout this whole process,” Drum Major Zoey Lohse said. “When they hung up Rose Parade banners all around Waukee congratulating the WWR and NWRB on this achievement, I remember getting so excited to see that our hard work was getting recognized.” These flags are showing support for both of the bands and showing off both of the bands’ logos.
Waukee marching bands are thankful to have this opportunity together even with the school split. Never before has the Rose Parade seen a situation quite like Waukee’s. Getting accepted as one marching band, and going as two is very unique for the Rose parade, but is giving every student possible the chance to go. The parade was scheduled to occur on New Year’s day of 2021, however, with Covid precautions, the band did not travel. With the high school split and two separate band programs, the following year will still get to both go to the parade. Even though they are split, they will be traveling uniformly, with custom-made uniforms a blend of the two schools’ colors, a uniform that both bands will get to keep in memory and honor of this experience.
While the bands will get to march in the parade, they will also get to show a snippet of their shows from the fall season at the Bandfest in Pasadena. Haviland said, “It is a separate event from the parade that allows the bands to play parts of their shows this season as well as their parade music. This allows all the groups to see each other and listen to each other since we will be so spaced out in the parade.” He continues to say that he looks forward to seeing all of the wide variety of music, marching styles, and overall composition of the ensembles. Along with the performances and amazing opportunities, both marching bands will get the chance to explore and experience the excitement in California. Drum Major Jonathan Nevenhoven said that some unforgettable moments of their trip will be “touring the many different sites including the barn where all the parade floats are made, an observatory in Hollywood, Sony Studios, and many more!” The WWR and NWRB will also march in the Disney Parade at Disneyland.
Recently, Waukee held the Waukee Marching Band Invitational, inviting many schools from the midwest to perform and compete in the Warrior stadium. This event helped support all of the Waukee students traveling to Pasadena. A tradition that is always held after this competition is fireworks right before the awards, which is a great way to end the band’s competition season. This tradition is a great way to celebrate Waukee and other schools’ senior classes, and this year is a great way to celebrate the band programs getting to go to the Rose Parade. Their season of rehearsal is not close to an end… On top of “Both bands will be rehearsing together throughout November and December to prepare for one of the biggest events our program has attended,” Nevenhoven said. These rehearsals will be a great chance for the bands to reconnect before the parade since the split of the high school. It will be a good way for them to meet in a large setting and make music together again. Both Waukee Warrior Regiment and Waukee Northwest Royal Brigade are thankful for the support that families and the community have shown this past year as they prepare to showcase their talents and accomplishments this New Year.