Band members experience California

Amy Cahoy

Amy Cahoy

From Dec. 27, 2002 to Jan. 3, 2003, over 700 Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band members, faculty, friends and family went to Southern California for the 114th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade held Jan. 1, 2003.

The Pride, the sixth entrant in the parade and the first non-military band, arrived in Pasadena, Calif., the site of the Rose Parade, by 6:30 a.m. They were also the only representatives of South Dakota. While waiting for the Parade to start, the Pride entertained the crowd by playing a few songs.

A cheer started the 5-mile, two-hour parade. Parade watchers packed bleachers like those at Coughlin Alumni Stadium along the first mile of the parade route.

The Pride played non-stop the first mile, impressing the crowd with straight lines and a loud sound.

The rest of the Tournament of Roses Parade went well. The temperature was a cool 50 degrees, though the temperature was warmer by the time the Pride finished the Parade.

Out of 1,500 band members who participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade each year, usually 80 people drop out while marching the route. Only two Pride members dropped out, due to illness. Overall, the Rose Bowl Parade was a success.

The South Dakotans had the opportunity to sight-see and visit many famous places in and around the Los Angeles area.

One such place was a play called “The Glory of Christmas,” held at the Crystal Cathedral. Based on the birth of Jesus in the manger, the play featured many traditional Christmas songs. Live animals, including horses, sheep and camels were also part of the show.

Another highlight for the Pride was playing in “Magic Music Days Showcase Parade” in Disneyland. The Pride also played in Band Fest at Pasadena City College.

Band Fest is a showcase of the bands in the Rose Parade. The Pride was the only college band to participate, except for the two colleges who participated in the Rose Bowl Game.

After Band Fest, Pride members learned how the floats participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade were made. Each float has a cardboard and steel structure. From there, various flowers are placed on the float. All of the floats in the parade are made with flower petals.

A concert at Santa Monica Pier was also a highlight of the California trip. The Pride played for a large crowd, then enjoyed shopping, going on rides and looking at the ocean. A brief visit to Hollywood produced pictures of movie stars’ signatures.

In San Diego, the Pride visited Sea World, where they got to see dolphins, seals, sharks and Shamu.

SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller helped fundraise for the trip by paying half the cost for each band member. To raise the other $650, each band member sold raffle tickets for like-new Volkswagen Beetles.

#1.887652:22526754.jpg:pride2.jpg:For just over a week bridging years 2002 and 2003, the Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band visited California to play, have fun, represent South Dakota, and ultimately, to march in the 114th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1, 2003. :courtesy of Eric Landwehr/University Relations