Two area high school students - a girl from Perrysburg and a boy from Springfield - will march in the Rose Parade of the 2009 Tournament of Roses Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.
Krysten Jablonowski, a senior and clarinetist, and Dylan Moore, a junior and tuba player, successfully auditioned for slots in the Bands of America National Honor Band, a 300-piece ensemble that will march the entire 5.5-mile route of the famous New Year's Day parade. Their band will be one of 19 marching that day, according to the Rose Parade's Web site.
The teens have been practicing their instruments, to be sure, but they've also been working out - they want to be in shape for the long parade route, which will take almost 2 1/2 hours to complete.
"I've been walking and putting myself on a diet of sorts," explained Krysten, 17. "I'll be ready."
Dylan faces the bigger physical challenge, given that his tuba weighs 37 pounds.
He's been marching around the high school track with his tuba accompanied by Kathleen McGrady, Springfield High School's band director.
"I've been using the treadmill too," Dylan, 16, said. "I've never walked 5 1/2 miles with my tuba."
This is the second such National Honor Band organized by Music for All, a nonprofit based in Indianapolis that bills itself as an organization promoting music and the arts. The first was in 2005.
Camilla Stasa, the group's director of participant relations, said she didn't know how many students from across the country auditioned.
"We're still building our band, and we're very close to 300 now. But I don't feel comfortable giving you a number about how many we turned away. It wouldn't be accurate," she said.
Auditions were done using a computer program called SmartMusic, which allowed the auditioners to make an audio file of their playing and e-mail it to the judges at Music for All.
Every two weeks, Krysten and Dylan send another audio file to the judges to show how they're progressing with the musical selections, which are Stars and Stripes Forever and a theme from Sesame Street.
They read the sheet music online as they practice. They'll also have to learn a Gloria Estefan number that hasn't been made available.
The musicians pay Music for All $1,590, which covers housing, meals, uniforms, and instructional time in southern California. It also pays for a
Jan. 2 fun day at Disneyland.
In 1999, Scott Schleuter, band director at Perrysburg High School, accompanied a high school band from Bloomington. Ind., where he then taught, to the Rose Parade.
The parade course is physically taxing, he said.
"We trained by marching 22 times around the track to get the full distance in," he said.
This year's Rose Parade will be the 120th, with actress Cloris Leachman scheduled to be the grand marshal. The parade begins at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be widely televised.
Contact Carl Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org