Homewood High School Marching Band headed to Pasadena for Rose Parade

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — When you turn on your TV on New Year’s morning, you might see some familiar faces.

Central Alabama’s very own Homewood High School Marching Band will be the very first group in the 133rd annual Tournament of Roses. According to veteran Band Director Chris Cooper, they’ll be the very first band leading the parade when it kicks off at 10 a.m.

The Homewood Band will be the very first band in the parade. The 133rd Rose Parade starts Jan 1 at 10 a.m. CST

This will be the fifth time the Homewood band program has been invited to Pasadena for the parade. Before the band takes off for the west coast, CBS 42 visited the band’s final walk-thru practice ahead of New Year’s Day.

This will be the Homewood Band’s fifth invitation to the Rose Parade in program history.

“I think being on national TV, really worldwide TV is a big draw for us,” Cooper said. “To be able to represent our city, our state, our school system – we just have tremendous support.”

Cooper said it’s because of that community support that the band is able to take advantage of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“Kids know in the sixth grade when they join the band at Homewood Middle School that their dream is to march in a Rose Parade or Macy’s Parade. We can never promise that but we’ve just been fortunate enough to be picked for this prestigious event.”

From that young age, the Homewood students have put in countless hours of practice, marching and getting in sync. Seniors on the band this year marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City their freshman year. They feel they’re mentally and physically ready for the occasion.

Many of the seniors on this year’s Homewood Band performed in New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade their freshman year.

“My freshman year, we marched in the Macy’s and that was only two and a half miles and this is almost six,” Kate Boone, Head Drum Major for the Homewood Band said. “It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever done, but we’ve been practicing for so long and we’ve marched around this track over and over again,” Boone said.

This year is an extra special opportunity for the band. They were invited last year but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their dreams were put on hold. So this year’s band is doing it for the graduated seniors who couldn’t last year.

“All the preparation it took to actually get ready for the Rose Parade and to be seen by millions of people is a lot,” Hannah Bryant, senior and drum major for the Homewood Band said. “But I think we’ve done a good job preparing for it.”

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