Parks to lead band in Rose Parade

When the Tournament of Roses Parade kicks off on New Year’s Day, a familiar figure will be leading the 330-member Bands of America Honor Band: the university’s own George N. Parks, longtime director of the Minuteman Marching band.

Featuring some of the most talented high school musicians from around the country, the band will be part of the traditional two-hour spectacle down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif.

Bands of America tapped Parks to lead the largest national honor band the organizational has ever assembled. The band includes 252 winds, 33 percussionists and a 45-member flag and dance team drawn from 206 high schools representing 42 states.

The band will meet for the first time just five days before the parade, then focus on learning the parade route and the musical program. The music for the parade was arranged by Michael Klesch and Thom Hannum, the assistant and associate directors of the Minuteman Marching Band, respectively.

The 116th Rose Parade will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS, Univision, HGTV, Telemundo, Travel Channel and Discovery HD. The parade is seen in 28 countries.

Parks has been director of the Minuteman Marching Band since 1977.