The Pride of Broken Arrow has something to celebrate this weekend. The high school band got the official invite to the play in the California's Rose Bowl Parade.
The Pride of Broken Arrow is the current Bands of America Grand national champion title holder, and as the winner of that title came a direct invitation to play in the parade. But a visit this weekend from Tournament of Roses parade director Brad Ratliff made it official. Ratliff extended the official invitation for Broken Arrow's band to play in Pasadena on New Year's Day.
“They're the best field show/halftime show in the country right now,” Ratliff said.
And being the best means playing in one of the best parades in the country.
“There's nothing else like the Rose Parade,” Ratliff said.“When that sun's coming up and those band kids get off that bus and they see down that parade route 700,000 people."
It's a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that came only because these band members and their leaders put in the work.
“Programs like what Mr. (Darrin) Davis has put together gives the structure, the discipline and the leadership opportunities for these kids that they normally wouldn't get without the music program,” Ratliff said.
And Pride of Broken Arrow members agree.
“This year's even harder and the discipline is even more strict,” said Aaron Devries, B.A. senior band member.
The students said the life lessons they've learned through music will help them greatly the rest of their lives.
“It really sets you up for life,” Devries said. “The discipline, it really helps you tone into respecting others.”
The band is raising money to get to California and they're halfway to their goal with several fundraisers set for the next few months.
If you'd like to donate, visit the Pride of Broken Arrow’s website.