Homewood High School Band set to lead the 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade

homewood Band
Homewood High School Patriots Band practicing. Photo via Homewood High School Band Facebook page

PROGRAMMING ALERT! Set your alarm clock and turn on the Tournament of Roses Parade® on January 1 at 10:00AM sharp, so you don’t miss the Homewood High School  Patriots Band. 

That’s right. After a year-long hiatus caused by the global pandemic, the 133rd Rose Parade—The Granddaddy of Them All® is returning, and the Patriots are leading the way.

“We’ve never led the parade before,” Homewood Band Director Chris Cooper told Bham Now from Pasadena. “It’s kind of turned into a big deal here for us when you look at the lineup, and you go, oh, we’re number one.” 

Homewood Band
Photo from the Homewood High School PTO Facebook page

How to Watch

Here’s what to expect. At 10:00AM Central Time, there’s an opening ceremony with popular country music star LeAnn Rimes performing her song “Throw My Arms Around the World.” 

The Homewood band will then start leading the parade at 10:04AM. ABC, NBC, Hallmark Channel and Univision are broadcasting the parade live. 

Following  the Patriots 5.5 mile route will be 19 marching bands, 18 equestrians and 43 floats. LeVar Burton of Roots and Star Trek fame is the Grand Marshal, and the theme for this year is Dream! Believe! Achieve!

Nearly a million people will line the parade route and more than 40 million will watch on television and social media.

Homewood Numbers

Homewood Band
Photo via Homewood High School Band Facebook page

According to Cooper, this the 5th time Homewood High School has participated in the Rose Parade. On Saturday, 361 students will march. In total, about 399 people connected with the Homewood School System are in California this week. Cooper noted that teachers, administrators and Superintendent Justin Hefner made the journey.

“It is such a gift to be able to serve a high school and school system that values the arts the way that we do in our community,” said Superintendent Hefner.

Drum Majors Kate Boone and Hannah Bryant agreed and can’t wait for January 1. 

“It’s an experience that’s gonna be unmatched,” exclaimed Boone, who also plays the French horn.“I was so excited before we even knew that we were going to be the first people in the parade. Having so many of our teachers here and so many people in our community, it’s like we’re bringing a whole small army from Homewood all the way to Pasadena.”

Added Bryant, who plays the flute, “It’s such a big event. Seeing all of the preparation from the organization that hosts the Rose Parade, it just really gives me pride in what we’re doing here and to be a part of it.”

More Than a Parade

Homewood Band
Photo via Shawn Wright

There are additional events scheduled this week other than the parade. On Thursday, Homewood will participate in BandFest, a special event for the local community, which includes all the participating bands performing their half-time shows.

In addition to the performance, Homewood is visiting Villa Esperanza in Pasadena, a special needs organization similar to the Homewood’s Exceptional Foundation.

“We have a special needs drum ensemble at Homewood High School and Middle School,” said Cooper.  “I want to bring it to Pasadena and show them what we do. We brought our drums, so we are gonna give a little pep rally in their parking lot.”

The Homewood students have also brought along across the country a pallet of art supplies and sports equipment to give to the group.

Dream Come True

Homewood Band
Homewood High School at the I Love Homewood Parade. Photo via Shawn Wright

This year’s Rose Parade is all the more special because it is returning after the 2021 parade was cancelled. It has been a whopping 730 days since the last parade. On January 1, 2022, the Homewood High School Band will lead everyone back.

Superintendent Hefner summed it up best:

“To have our students involved in a venue such as the Rose Parade is a dream come true. It is truly the granddaddy of them all.”

Are you going to watch the Rose Parade? Tag us @Bhamnow to let us know you are cheering on the Homewood Patriots 

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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