AMHERST, Mass. -- The UMass Minuteman Marching Band (UMMB) is wrapping up its local rehearsals as it prepares for its appearance in the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. The internationally televised parade steps off at 11 a.m. Eastern on Jan. 1.
The 400-member strong UMMB joins 20 other marching bands selected from around the country to participate in the parade, as well as marching bands from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia, the two teams playing in the Rose Bowl.
“Since UMass Amherst is the Commonwealth's campus, we consider ourselves to be the Commonwealth’s band,” said UMMB Director Timothy Todd Anderson. “We can’t wait to represent not only our university, but all of Massachusetts for millions of people. It’s our way to tell the world what UMass is all about.”
Since learning in October 2016 that they were invited to the 2018 Rose Parade, the band has been preparing for the parade, including learning new music and practicing for the five and a half-mile long parade, which will be the longest parade UMMB has ever performed in. This is also the band’s first appearance in California.
In addition to their parade appearance, UMMB will take part in another Tournament of Roses tradition, Bandfest, on Dec. 29, during which they will perform a field show and view the colorful floats that will be featured in the parade. The band will perform Dec. 30 at Disneyland.
Among the musical selections the band will perform in the parade are Firework by pop singer Katy Perry, along with the UMass fight song and God Bless America.
In addition to Anderson, the Minuteman Marching Band is also led by Associate Director Thomas Hannum and Assistant Director Chris McHugh Sirard.
The parade is broadcast live on NBC and ABC, along with cable stations the Hallmark Channel, HGTV, Univision and RFD TV.
Cord cutters who don’t have cable TV can view the Rose Parade a couple of different ways. Amazon Prime members can view the parade for free on their Prime account. KTLA, a Southern California television station, will carry the parade live on its website at www.ktla.com/roseparade and on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ktla5. The Facebook Live feed from KTLA will run without commentary, so it’s a good way to hear nothing but the band.