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Chester County Press

Three Oxford students to march in Tournament of Roses Parade

10/08/2014 02:33AM ● By Lev

Oxford Area High School juniors Brianna Grimes and Danielle Dietz and sophomore Madison McCartney will perform in the 126th annual Tournament of Roses Parade as members of the Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band. Pictured from left are band director Erin Kaupplia, Brianna and Danielle, who will play in the flute section, and Madison, who will march in the color guard during the parade on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California.

Most Americans experience the annual Tournament of Roses Parade on television, with the blue skies and sunshine of Pasadena, California helping us to forget the frigid New Year’s Day temperatures for at least an hour or two. Three Oxford Area High School students, however, will enjoy the 70-degree Southern California weather in person and in the most exiting way possible on January 1, 2015.

Juniors Danielle Dietz, daughter of Letitia and Donald Dietz, and Brianna Grimes, daughter of Sally and John Grimes, and sophomore Madison McCartney, daughter of Wyvonnejenne and Dennis McCartney, will march in the nation’s most famous parade as members of the Cavalcade of Bands Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band. Danielle and Brianna will play in the flute section and Madison will march in the color guard.

The Tournament of Roses Honor Band is coordinated by the Cavalcade of Bands Association, Inc., (CBA), a non-profit organization comprised of over 100 member schools. CBA sponsors marching band field competitions in the fall and indoor guard and percussion units during the winter, with non-competitive Jazz Band activities throughout the winter and spring.

This the first time CBA has organized a Tournament of Roses Honor Band. The band features 147 members from 38 high schools in Pennsylvania as well as high schools in New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.

The band members, along with CBA staff, chaperones, and family members, will be in the Los Angeles area from Dec. 28 through Jan. 2. The highlight of the trip is the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade, where the band, decked out in beautiful new uniforms, will perform five numbers as they march along the 5.5-mile parade route.

Brianna, Madison and Danielle were selected for the band after submitting video auditions along with an application and recommendation from high school band director Erin Kauppila. Brianna and Madison have played flute in their school bands since fourth grade at Nottingham Elementary School while Madison joined the marching band’s color guard as a freshman.

As part of being selected for the band, each of the students is required to raise a portion of their expenses through personal fundraising. Since receiving word of their selection, the students have sold candy bars, held car washes and performed neighborhood chores in order to offset the cost of their Honor Band activities.

In order to memorize and perfect the five selections they will perform during the parade, band members participated in two daylong rehearsals held at Unionville High School. Unionville also hosted a three-day band camp beginning on July 30 and culminating on August 1 with the Honor Band’s first public performance at the Drum Corps International East field show in Allentown.

“The new music is a little more complicated than what we’ve played before, said Brianne. “It took a lot of time, but we learned it all and we’ve really excited about performing in Pasadena.”

Close to a million spectators will line the Tournament of Roses Parade route and millions more will watch the broadcast in the United States and around the world. Also marching in the parade are bands from Southern California, Georgia, Ohio, Hawaii and Mexico, as well an all-female band from Denmark.

The Honor Band will also present a field show at Bandfest, an event centered on the bands performing in the Rose Parade, and will visit Disneyland for a special parade performance. The band is scheduled for one practice session, to be held at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, and there will be opportunities for sight-seeing throughout the area during the band’s stay.

“It’s very exciting that as one of the smaller schools in the Cavalcade area, Oxford has three members in the Rose Parade Honor Band,” said Mrs. Kauppila. “This will definitely be a once in a lifetime experience for our students.”

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