Students from Colony High School in Palmer were in California on New Year’s Day performing in the Rose Bowl.
The Colony High Marching Band was one of 23 bands asked to be a part of the Tournament of Roses Parade Wednesday. The event is held during the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
The band has 73 members under band director Jamin Burton. More than 700,000 people were expected to turn out for the event.
Wednesday’s parade marked the 125th anniversary of the Tournament of Roses.
Some members of the band spoke to KTUU Chanel 2 News and said they enjoyed the experience.
Junior cymbal player Sarah Williams said the parade “was a really rewarding experience, and there is no experience I will have like this because I was preforming in front of more people than I ever will in my life.”
Alumni snare drummer Christian Calkins, who graduated last year from Colony, said that for many on the band, the performance “will be the pinnacle of their music career.
“It was absolutely incredible to see so many people … it was bigger than anything I have ever played or any of these kids have ever played,” he said, adding that it was an “opportunity to play for all these people and to have such a small band from Alaska” go on to “make the state proud.”
Peyton Shaw, a junior who plays the mellophone (a marching band version of the French horn), said the parade was “really tiring” but added that “it’s so worth it to see all those people there.”
The band will have Thursday off. Brooke Smith, president of the Colony Music Club, said the band will use the time to enjoy a trip to Disneyland.