Pasadena, CA – On Christmas Day, The Pasadena Star-News, a local California newspaper, released an article highlighting three special bands participating in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade. For one of these bands, participation was uncertain.
2017 was a record year for hurricanes thanks to Irma and Maria, as both storms wreaked havoc on island nations and U.S. mainlands, crippling many communities. Banda Escolar de Guayanilla, a band from Puerto Rico, felt the damaging effects of these two category 5 hurricanes. Their homes were destroyed and with that, potentially the chance of marching again in the Rose Parade.
But two other participants decided otherwise. Mercer Island, WA and Pickerington, OH extended a helping hand, and while fundraising for their own participation in the 2019 Rose Parade, raised the funds necessary — over $55,000 — to share Colorado Boulevard with their Puerto Rican counterparts.
Writer Jerry Rice of the PSN said the following: “Community service and helping others are hallmarks of many of the bands performing in the Rose Parade.” Indeed these students, educators, and parents are stewards of what it means to be in a community of performers. They are leaders, they are philanthropists, they are this generation of “good people.” But this hallmark of community service extends well beyond the bands participating in the Rose Parade. There are handfuls of bands, winter guards, and drum corps participating in countless events who, behind the scenes, demonstrate that “band together” attitude. They aren’t recognized; they aren’t written about. But they are there.
DSI wants to hear these stories! If you know a band or color guard program that extends beyond their program, that represents their band as leaders in the community, and that is a true steward of the activity, we want to highlight them. You can reach out to us via personal message on Facebook (Director’s Showcase) or Twitter (@DShowcase). Help us spread the #bandtogether story.