Student makes history marching in Rose Parade
Photo by JAIMIE HSU
by DOMINIQUE LIE
For the first time in Schurr history, a student musician was accepted into the Pasadena City College (PCC) Elite Herald Trumpets and will perform in the Rose Parade Jan. 1.
Junior Ryan Melendez will march in the group of nine trumpet players and one snare drum who will precede the Rose Court Float in the annual televised event.
“When I found out, I felt very emotional and happy. It was like time had stopped. I was just very astonished and thankful,” said Melendez, who learned about the Honor Band during his freshman year, when trumpet section leaders were talking about the PCC Tournament of Roses Honor Band. He soon became interested in the Honor Band and auditioned the following year.
“I auditioned last year, but only got accepted into the honor band. This year, I made the PCC Herald Trumpet section,” Melendez said. Only 9 out of 80 trumpets are accepted into the Herald.
Students participating in the Herald section auditions for the Honor Band. Musicians who stand out in the audition are chosen for the Elite Herald section. Each player must first apply on the PCC band website, practice marching while playing a piece given to them, prepare their own piece, practice sight reading and a chromatic scale from the lowest note possible to the highest on a trumpet.
“I think that you just have to be prepared. Have a good warm up before you audition, stay calm and play confidently,” said Melendez. “They like to hear confidence in your playing.”
Since November, the PCC Honor Band and Herald have been practicing every Sunday, and beginning tomorrow they march nearly every day at the Santa Anita Racetrack and Dodger Stadium. After rehearsing for the 6-mile trip down Colorado Boulevard the performers would have marched for more than 25 miles during rehearsal.
“I’m proud of how hard he worked and how well he prepared,” said Antonio Castro, Schurr band director. “It goes to show what happens when you set a goal and meet it.”