ROCKFORD, Mich. — Following a community performance by Rockford High School Marching Band, school officials had an announcement that would surprise even the students and parents in attendance.
Band director Brian Phillips then took to the field with a microphone. He turned the crowd's attention to the scoreboard, which announced the Rockford band will be a participant in the world famous Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena in 2023.
"That was shocking. I was so happy I was surrounded by all my friends that I was going to be with there. And that's going to be an amazing experience. We're going to have so much fun with that and we're going to be able to work hard even more," said junior drum major Tommy McGovern.
The news comes as bittersweet for seniors like Brady Smith. They're sad that they will have graduated by the time the parade happens, but they're proud to leave behind a legacy of excellent that will benefit current underclassmen and future band members.
"It's really cool to be a reason that like the class below me, you know, these people I care about that are still in the program, get to have that cool experience," Smith said.
"I think one of the coolest things about our class is that we are very good at finding the good and the positive out of all of it, and really making the most of our time here while we have it."
Rockford High School band performs 'Savage Beauty'
The four-time State Champion marching band and color guard performed 'Savage Beauty' in Carlson-Munger Stadium on Wednesday night before the big announcement. They will soon leave for Bands of America Grand Nationals, which takes place this weekend in Indianapolis.
"I'm really excited about it. It's kind of like my send off performance, so I'll really just be focusing on getting the most out of the performance," Smith said.
A few hundred people came to watch the band's performance Wednesday and members are grateful for that community support which included a fireworks show paid for by band parents.
"We're just so happy to have so many people out here, not just band parents and families, but people from the school coming out and supporting us. That's just really awesome for us, and it's great to be able to come out here and put on good performance for them. It makes me really happy," McGovern said.
Watch the performance here.
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