UMass Amherst Minuteman Marching Band Shines in 129th Rose Parade

The Minuteman Marching Band performs at the 2018 Rose Parade
The Minuteman Marching Band performs at the 2018 Rose Parade

They nailed it! The UMass Minuteman Marching Band’s appearance New Year’s Day in the 129th Rose Parade is now a part of the band’s history!

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They looked sharp in their new uniforms – worn for the first time in full performance – and sounded great as they played Katy Perry’s “Firework” for more than 700,000 spectators and 44 million television viewers around the world.

And, as shown from aerial cameras high above the parade route, they nailed the famously tricky 110-degree turn onto Colorado Boulevard.

The 400-strong Minuteman Marching Band was one of only three collegiate bands in the parade; the others were from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia, the two teams playing later in the day in the Rose Bowl. They were joined by 20 other marching bands selected from around the country.

The 5.4-mile parade route was the longest the band had ever marched in. It was also the band’s first appearance in California.

In addition to the parade, the band took part in another Tournament of Roses tradition, Bandfest, on Dec. 29, during which they performed a field show. They also performed Dec. 30 at Disneyland.

Known as the “Power and Class of New England,” the Minuteman Marching Band is used to large audiences: at presidential inaugural ceremonies in 1981, 1985 and 2001; at the Bands of America Grand Nationals in 1993, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2011; at the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s New Year’s Day Parade in 2010; and at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2013. Still, the Rose Parade audience was the largest.

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