Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Avon Grove students will march in Tournament of Roses Parade

12/19/2014 11:58AM ● By J. Chambless

From left: Kevin Reynolds, Josh Brown, Bobby Toole, Tom Wehrle, Mrs. Rebecca Staznik, Christine Gerwig, Lindsay Saienni, Jessica Sobon and Jennifer Sobon.

Eight Avon Grove High School students have been selected to take part in the 126th annual Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.

Seniors Christine Gerwig (clarinet), Lindsay Saienni (flute and drum major), Kevin Reynolds (saxophone), Tom Wehrle (tuba), Josh Brown (tuba), Bobby Toole (percussion), Junior Jennifer Sobon (clarinet) and Freshman Jessica Sobon (saxophone) will march in the parade as members of the Cavalcade of Bands Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band.

The Tournament of Roses Honor Band is coordinated by the Cavalcade of Bands Association Inc. (CBA), a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 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 is the first time CBA has organized a Tournament of Roses Honor Band. The band features 157 members from 38 high schools in Pennsylvania, 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. During the parade, the band members will wear new uniforms as they perform five numbers while marching along the 5.5-mile parade route.

In addition to marching in the parade, the Honor Band will 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 some practice sessions, 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.

The students were selected for the band after submitting video auditions, along with an application and recommendation from high school band director Rebecca Staznik.

As part of being selected for the band, each student is required to pay for the trip either through personal expenses or fundraising.

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

Nearly 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.