SAN ANTONIO – The Ronald Reagan High School marching band will have a chance to show off their skills on national television when they take part in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.
"Whenever you talk to anyone in this profession, going to the Rose Parade is definitely one of those things at the top of your list," said Dan Morrison, Reagan High band director.
The band was awarded the honor of marching in one of the most prestigious parades in the country after their performance at the Band of Americas Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. Reagan finished seventh out of 100 participants, and was given the invitation right after its performance.
"I was in absolute shock. We didn't even know what to do when the award was announced, but we were very, very happy," said Kurt Lautenshlager, a junior drum major.
"I was very excited. I was jealous I wasn't going to be able to come with them, but I was very proud of our program for making it so far," said Alicia Paulino, a senior drum major. "The band program has grown a lot. We used to be less prepared for these competitions than we are now.”
Now, the band has to prepare for what lies ahead on the streets of Pasadena.
"(We have to) start thinking about it pretty soon. There is a 110-degree turn we have to do at some point, so we will have to take a look at that," Morrison said.
"To prepare for next year, we just continue to do what we always do we — hold ourselves to a very high standard. And we always do the best we possibly can and we keep playing on," Lautenshlager said.
The Reagan High band will be marching on the footsteps of Johnson High School. The Johnson Jaguars performed in the Rose Parade in 2014.