CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of people line the streets every year in Pasadena for the annual Rose Parade. Tens of millions more watch the televised event around the world. One of nine high school bands participating in the 2019 spectacle is from the southwest suburbs of Chicago.
The 300 members of the Lincoln Way marching band began rehearsals Wednesday for the event that will take place in January 2019.
“It’s really exciting,” stated band member Emily Lange.
“It will be the longest parade we’ve marched in. Five and a half miles! [It will be a] test of endurance,” said Justin Barnish, the band’s director, saying that the band will be preparing for more than just the music.
He says the physical training is already underway. Band members have started their physical endurance training by running, as well as doing sit-ups, push-ups, and planks.
Lange says she’s 5 feet 2 inches and plays a 30-pound sousaphone. She says she doesn’t want her size to stop her from playing in the parade.
“No matter what size, you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it,” she stated. “It will definitely be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it’s very exciting!”
“It weighs 30 pounds and is almost as tall as she is,” stated Barnish.
Many of the students say playing in the Rose Bowl Parade is a dream come true and say they’re especially excited to be seen on TV around the world.
Band member Kamryn Samoska says she’s excited for the big day.
“I’ve been told the TV corner is going to be life-changing. Turn that corner and really play my heart out,” Samoska said.
To get to the Rose Bowl Parade, the Lincoln Way band members will have to take two charter planes. They say it will take four trucks to haul all of their instruments and gear.
There is a fundraiser, featuring the band Night Ranger, this weekend to raise money for their trip, which will cost about $1,000,000. Tickets are available at lincolnwaymusic.org/concert