KAYSVILLE -- The Davis High School Marching Band will play for a national audience on New Year's Day 2013 as one of the elite bands invited to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
The 300-member band was recently told it has been selected to represent the Mountain West region in the 124th annual Rose Parade.
"The bands that end up in our parade are the best of the best," said Sally Bixby, president-elect of the Tournament of Roses. "It's a wonderful experience for the director and all of the band members. It can be a life-changing experience for them. It is a big achievement for this band or any band."
Bixby plans to visit the school in April to see their performances first hand. She will also receive a VIP tour of the city and surrounding attractions.
Steven Hendricks, a veteran of 22 years as band director at Davis, submitted a DVD of his band performing "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind and Fire as part of the application process.
The drums were in front and the tubas were bouncing, he said.
"We wanted to show them that we are an entertaining band, as that is priority No. 1 for the (Rose Parade officials)."
Hendricks also submitted letters of recommendation, photos, a resume, and a full history of the band.
"We look for bands that have an outstanding sound, are good marchers, and are entertaining," Bixby. said.
"It's a lot of work to be at the caliber to even be considered," she said. "They should be very proud."
This is not Davis' first trip to the Rose Parade. Hendricks took the band to perform there in 2003.
Lyndsie Hekimian, the band's color guard director, also remembers performing in the 2003 parade as a student in the color guard.
"It's a really great opportunity for them," she said. "It builds a lot of camaraderie within the band."
When it was announced to the students that they were going to be in the Rose Parade, excited would have been an understatement.
"I started jumping up and down and screaming," said Lynette Parker, 16, education specialist for the band's color guard.
Parker said that color guard consumes her life all year long.
The band will continue with its three rehearsals per week schedule throughout the year, adding longer practice marches to build their endurance as the parade approaches.
The Rose Parade route is 51âÑ2 miles, which is significantly longer than any parade the band will experience in Utah. The parade route is packed with close to a million spectators, and another 30 million to 60 million people watch on TV, Hendricks said.
Also on the mind of everyone involved is the tremendous fundraising that will be required to attend the parade. The district caps student out-of-pocket costs at $800 for the trip.
"We will have to raise approximately $200,000 for the kids to only pay $800 each," said Hendricks.
Multiple fundraisers are already in the works, including band performances, grant writing, corporate sponsorships and electronic donations.
One fundraiser they are anticipating is slated for May when alumni Harlem Globe Trotters will play a basketball game against local personalities.
Hendricks said he is looking for volunteers to come and "get your butt kicked" for a good cause.
"We are hoping to avoid selling any more cookie dough."