AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Minuteman Marching Band has been chosen to perform in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
Elated band members celebrated as the selection was announced in a Tournament of Roses video played at halftime during today’s UMass football game versus Wagner.
“We’re just thrilled,” said Timothy Todd Anderson, director of the 381-member band. “This will be the first time the band has played in California.”
“This is a fantastic compliment to the band,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “It’s a great opportunity for all UMass alumni to make a trip to the Rose Bowl and cheer our band on.”
Anderson said parade organizers invited to the band and a formal application was submitted in June.
Bands are selected by the Tournament of Roses based on a variety of criteria including musicianship, marching ability, and entertainment or special interest value. To be considered, band representatives submitted a detailed application that included photos, video footage and letters of recommendation. Bands are required to raise all necessary funds for travel and accommodations.
Under the leadership of longtime director George N. Parks and associate director and percussion instructor Thomas P. Hannum, the Minuteman Marching Band emerged as one of the nation’s outstanding band programs. After Parks’ untimely death in 2010, the band’s tradition of excellence continued under current director Timothy Todd Anderson, who arrived in 2011, Hannum and assistant director and visual coordinator Christine McHugh Sirard. The band’s award-winning drumline, large and powerful horn section, and modernized color guard are known for their enthusiasm, excitement and excellence. At home football games, the “Power and Class of New England” performs a half-time program, as well as its traditional post-game show for hundreds of enthusiastic, dedicated fans.
The Minuteman Band has performed for Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies in 1981, 1985 and 2001. In 1993, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2011, the band performed at Bands of America Grand Nationals. In 1998, the Minuteman Marching Band received the most prestigious honor bestowed upon college bands, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy. It is awarded in recognition of “the highest of musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas, and which has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a period of several years.”
The band also garnered national attention when it performed in the 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2013. Their appearance included a 1-minute featured performance at Herald Square, shown on NBC.
In 2015, outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick requested that the Minuteman Marching band perform for the traditional “Lone Walk” ceremony as he left the State House for the final time.
On the eve of the 2014 Boston Marathon, 240 members of the Marching Band under the direction of Anderson and Hannum accompanied 35 bagpipers and traditional Scottish drummers performing “Highland Cathedral” at a Fenway Park ceremony marking the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. The band then performed the national anthem before the nationally televised Red Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles. ESPN broadcast the primetime game and the pregame ceremony.