South Bay Band to March in Rose Parade

Valley Christian High will march alongside the "Beijing 57" from China.

By George Kiriyama
|  Thursday, Apr 5, 2012  |  Updated 11:15 PM PDT
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South Bay Band to March in Rose Parade

George Kiriyama

Valley Christian High will march alongside the "Beijing 57" from China.

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A high school marching band from the South Bay will know where they'll be on New Year's Day next year.

Valley Christian High is heading to Pasadena to perform in the "Granddaddy of them all"...the Tournament of Roses Parade for the first time in school history.

"I am so excited! Serena Brown, Valley Christian's drum major, said. "We have been looking forward to this for months now. All the preparation like mentally and musically preparing has been phenomenal and I can't wait."

What's going to make it even more special for Valley Christian, they'll be marching side by side with a band from Mainland China called the "Beijing 57". The Chinese band performed at the 2008 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing.

"We'll be in our blue uniforms. They'll be in our red uniforms. It should be a wonderful display of music and pageantry," Troy Gunter, Valley Christian's Band Director, said.

The marching band is leaving for an eight day trip to China this weekend to meet and rehearse with their Chinese counterparts for the first time. While most of the bandmembers don't speak Mandarin. It won't matter. They'll be connecting through the "language of music."

"To be able to then create relationships with some young people that share the bond of music on the other side of the world, I think makes it that much more special," Gunter said.

The Valley Christian marching band is not only practicing the notes, they're conditioning their bodies to march what will be a 5 1/2 mile parade route.

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