NORWALK – Eight high school students from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District have been selected to perform in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band.
The students were selected from a pool of about 500 musicians throughout Southern California and will join more than 100 Honor Band members consisting of instrumentalists, a flag pageantry and the Pasadena City College’s Lancer Marching Band.
The NLMUSD students practiced their routines throughout the year, while continuing their music instruction and performing in their high school bands and other music programs.
“It’s such an honor for our students to be chosen because it was a rigorous audition process,” said Fabio Kayama, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified visual and performing arts teacher on special assignment. “Our students get to perform with top musicians from across Southern California and showcase their talents.”
This year, the student musicians chosen from the District are:
• John Glenn High: Mya Sanchez, senior, euphonium; Giovanni Gallegos, senior, trombone;
• La Mirada High: Yasmin Lozano, junior, clarinet; Aaron Muzzicato, senior, alto saxophone; Carina Calvillo, senior, pageantry; Catrina Calvillo, senior, pageantry; Cristina Navarrette, senior, pageantry; Clarissa Soto, freshman, pageantry
La Mirada High School Director of Music Geena Biondi held clinics and workshops to prepare her students for the auditions. Biondi, a Pasadena City College alumni, performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade as a member of the Lancer Marching Band as a junior and senior in high school.
“These students are ones that are leaders in the classroom and very disciplined,” Biondi said. “Their willingness to rehearse during the break shows their desire to grow into better musicians.”
The students began practicing for the Rose Parade the second weekend of November, and will continue to rehearse every weekend in December and through most of winter break. They will march over 50 miles in preparation for the six-mile parade down Colorado Boulevard.
“The Tournament of Roses Honor Band prides itself in playing the entire route of the parade,” John Glenn High School Band Director Frank Hinojoz said. “I’m very proud to have two members from our school in the ensemble.”
The NLMUSD students will also perform with the Honor Band at Disneyland on Dec. 28 and for Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Dec. 30 and 31.
“I’m so proud that our students are being recognized as some of the best musicians in Southern California,” Superintendent Hasmik Danielian said. “These are exemplary students who not only shine in their academics, but who now have the opportunity to demonstrate their passion and talent on a national scale.”
The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade will kick off at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2.