By band-rose11-trip | January 2, 2012
Our call time this morning was 5:00am! We started off with a quick breakfast and making sure that we had everything ready to go for the parade. This was the earliest morning for us but we were all really excited for this day. It was still dark out on the way to Pasadena so most people slept on the bus ride there. Once at the staging area, we set up in our parade block, warmed up, and started the 7 mile parade! The weather was chilly in the morning but started to warm up around 8. The audience along the route had so much energy and cheered us on the entire way. There were so many people and it was so fun hearing the applauses and many people giving us compliments. Everyone was screaming as we performed our dance and how much energy our band had. It was really hot during the entire parade but by the end of the parade we were all so happy that we had completed the parade without any injuries. Everyone was proud of our performance!
-Audrey and Sarah M.
The parade was so enjoyable but sweaty and tiring. Everyone who we passed on the route all had a ton of eneray and cheered us on. It was great that a lot of people on the route passed Out water to us so we would not shrivel and drop out of the parade. In glad everyone enjoyed it!
On a personal note – I was having second thoughts about the parade on the morning of Jan 2. Everyone was underslept and I was feeling sore and tired. Frankly, I was dreading having to march those 5 miles. Something changed, though, as soon as we walked onto the staging overpass. The B-2 bomber screaming overhead and the sounds of distant band music and the mufled roar of the crowd got everyone both nervous and excited. I’m glad to say things only got better from there. Marching the Rose Parade was an awesome experience and having done it, I don’t regret it for a second.
- Nathan C.
Wow is all I can say after today. This morning I woke up very VERY tired and didn’t really want to march for two and a half hours. When I woke up after my nap on the bus I didn’t know what it was, but I just felt ready. After we were all situated in our block I wished everyone around me luck and hoped that this bass drum in front of me wouldn’t be too bad to carry. Well we started off pretty well! After a while the heat and shoulder pain started getting to me. I tried everything to keep my mind off it, but it was there the whole time. After a while I decided that when I looked back on this moment do I want to say wow I finished that whole parade with the biggest bass drum! Or will I say I couldn’t handle it and always wish I had made it. I pushed every thing I had and I was so happy to make it to the end. Yes I was gross and sweaty, but the feeling that I made it all the way will always be in my memory.
- Chase A.
By jwright | January 2, 2012
And, here they are marching on January 1 at Disneyland
By band-rose11-trip | January 1, 2012
We love Mercer Island marching band!!!!! Yesterday we performed an amazing fieldshow at bandfest, and it was an amazing culmination of months of hard work. The whole crowd loved the show, and hearing the loud cheering section from MI made the experience ten times better. The excitement of the show carried over to our adventures at Citywalk in Universal Studios. After dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, our band started a dance in the middle of the mall, with some of our band members stealing the spotlight with their outrageous and unique dance moves. The night continued to get better as we surprised bystanders with our loud MI chants and songs, even including the entire Boston fieldshow song. Our spirits were high, and even though one of the busses couldn’t pick us up, we made room on other busses to ensure that all of our band family made it back safely.
Today, we got to sleep in and relax (do homework and college apps) and we are now heading to bandfest to watch other performances. We are looking forward to celebrating the new year together tonight and preparing for our next two performances!
Love, Celina S. and Sarah M.
Being on drumline has changed high school for me, I love going to class at 3rd and hanging with everyone. But given the chance to go to the Rose Bowl and play for live TV was amazing for me and many others, bandfest was so much fun and we all put so much time into that show and having it be all over is sad but good too. The show went great and just to see a smile on the peoples face after we finished was great, I think I was shaking the whole time. Being around other bands and drumlines has opened the door for me to see what the standard of other bands are and what they can do. Can’t wait to spend the new years with all my friends and fellow band members.
Band is awesome!! Thank you parents and fans for supporting us on this amazing journey! We couldn’t have done anything without you guys! Last night in universal city, while waiting for our busses, we sang all our band music as loud as we could. They may have thought we were weird, but as long as we are in a band family it’s just normal and what we do everyday!
You might get pretty close to people when you ride a plane together, eat half a chicken with your bare hands together, wait two hours in a line for a roller coaster together, or start a giant mosh pit in Hollywood together, but you really become a family when you work your tails off for more than 4 months. When after that 4 months you pull together and show everyone what you’ve been working towards and your performance is better than anyone could have ever anticipated. When you see the band directors that have believed in you from the start claim that they have “allergies” to hide their proud tears. That moment is when I felt (as a freshman) that I became part of the band family. Great job mercer!!
The moments I had this week were very memorable and fun. Like how we went to midevil times and had to eat half a chicken with our hands or catching the blue knights rose. We did lots of fun things like moshing in the middle of Hollywood and making a flash mob by singing at the top of our lungs. The sun is another good thing, I’m pretty sure you could find us in any crowd because we are the awkward pale people that stand out. Band fest will be a memory that I will remember forever. Marching in on the field and having the feeling of being a part of something I worked so hard for felt really good. Being surrounded by so many people and realizing how far we have come this year really makes me happy to be apart of band.
This trip has been a truly amazing experience so far. From the epic battles of blue vs yellow(BLUE) to the moshing and singing in Hollywood, I’ve grown so close to the people in this band. They are really my band family. I’ll be able to look back on these moments in future years and think about the amazing time I had. Thanks for everyone who made this possible, it really is one of the best experiences of my life.
I am so proud to be able to call myself a MI band member. After all our hard work, we preformed an amazing bandfest field show that got a standing ovation from the entire crowd and got Mr.Lane’s “allergies” to start to kick in. But not only do we rock on the field but we also rock off the field, I bet no other band would sing their song at the top of their voices in Hollywood while moshing. MI band is truely one in a million and I am so glad that I got a chance to be apart of this experience and this band.
The pride that I felt from the standing ovation from a ton of strangers after performing the sole product this band has worked on for the last four months affected more than just me. After performing, I felt closer to every single band member because in the end, we all worked towards the same goal. In the spring of my 8th grade year (I am a freshman), Mr. Bixby came and played us the recording of Boston and the only thing going through our intimidated middle school heads was ” there is no way we are going to do this”. The same reaction occured at band camp when we all saw the show us new freshmen needed to learn and march perfectly,along with learning to march in general. Daunting as it was, with all the time and hard work we put in at band camp and the countless number of rehearsals, we accomplished something we never thought we could; march and 11 minute show with complicated drill and difficult music. As a member of the freshman class, I am proud of what we were able to acomplish; not as the newbie freshmen but as members of the Mercer Island High School Marching Band.
Yesterday our band performed an amazing field show we had worked on nonstop for the past 4 months. And today we watched some amazing bands from all over the world perform their own field shows that they had been working so hard on. This experience opened my eyes to the many different kinds of bands there are. Some of the bands we saw were from Sweden, Puerto Rico, and Pennysylvania, each with their own personality and styles. Before today, all I knew was our band’s own traditions. Seeing performances from bands across the globe made me feel like we were a part of something bigger. Right now we are off to a New Year’s Eve party with the Ben Davis Highschool Band where I expect we will make even more connections and expand our band community further. I will admit I am exhausted from the busy past few days, but nonetheless I am excited for the experiences that lie ahead (5.5 miles!!!! Ahhhh!!! ) and I will carry the fun experiences we shared with me for a long time. I love our band!
It feels like the past four months have finally paid off.
Peace- CW out
I really hope Disneyland will be all people have said it will be. Got lots of souvenirs for my friends and family back at Washington, and at the same time I can’t believe we are down with over half the trip. Knots berry farm was really tiring and ate into my wallet like an average American at a Las Vegas buffet. Today I spent the whole day watching lots of different bands perform. It was fun at first but after about five hours you get tired of no water and high heats. I also noticed that there were some bands that weren’t as good as us, probably because we spent the last (can’t remember how many) months practicing with mr bixby berating down our necks. It was absolutely horrifing but it really payed off in the long run.
Dreading 5.5 miles! d:p William D
Mind blown. Too much excitement that my mind is brain dead….not much of a difference tho. Lol the time machine. Anyways happy trails.
This trip has really been amazing, and I know that this parade will complete it! I’ve had my first roller coaster experience and let me tell you, the silver bullet rocked my world! It’s also my first time going to Disneyland so that will be exciting. CALI IS A DRAEM!!
Bandfest was amazing and could not be more proud of us all for all the hard work we have done put together into such an amazing and inspiring performance for countless people. This trip is a great way to end my Senior year of band and a miraculous finish to 8 memorable years in this one-of-a-kind program. Thank you to all, my experience has been something I will remember forever.
Sir Commander Captain Nolan here:stardate169382:today we went to bandfest and it was really cool to see that we are a good band. At our performance we all felt as if we did not do to great. In reality, after watching recordings of our performance on YouTube, we realized that we were easily one of the more entertaining bands out there. We are loud, exciting, and good at what we do. That is all, shoutout to Ian S, Tom H, Chris M, and to Bus#5 because breaking down twice in one day takes skills. – Sir Commander Captain Nolan “Chuggi ” C, that is my gamer tag.
Band festival was crazy sick, we did really well, go MI!!!!!!
Hey everyone! So far it has been a long three days, waking up at 6:30 and usually getting back to the hotel, later then 10:30. Everydays been filled with sunshine and lots of band, so today was a nice break. Watching other performances at bandfest, having some free time, and meeting up with Ben Davis Band this night for tacos and a new years party. Looking forward to Disneyland tomorrow!
Happy new year!! Today we watched other bands perform at band fest, and I am happy to say that even though we don’t have flag people ( thank goodness) we were definitely one of the most entertaining bands here. So far this has been an amazing experience. Walking through hollywood with everyone singing at the top of their lungs and moshing, waiting in line for two and a half hours at Knotts berry farm for a roller coaster, these things will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’ve made so many friends through band, and met aso many great people. This trip and the effort we put in has brought me closer to every single member of this band family. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!!!
As a freshman in the band getting to experience the entire rose Parade is both amazing and overwhelming. But after the months of hard work and I think I can speak for every one, small amounts of suffering, we as a group rocked our show. The feeling of that moment of pride and joy upon completeion will live with me for the rest of my life.
By jwright | December 31, 2011
The Band was amazing …
By band-rose11-trip | December 31, 2011
From Mr. Wanzer’s camera,
By band-rose11-trip | December 31, 2011
“The bandfest was one heck of at time. Having seeing other band members including the Arcadia.” –Nick K.
“What a blast! Despite the butterflies inside our stomachs, we performed at a level that was unimaginable. It was amazing to perform in front of the hundreds in the crowd, and the thousands online. We are proud of our work and our objective was an absolute success.” –Sean Q.
“Today, I had a great time with the MIHS Band. It was a fantastic day and I can’t wait to see the whole performance at home. All I have to say is: Go MI!”. –Karl T.
“Even though we were all super tired, we pulled through and put on a great performance. It’s been a really exciting trip so far.” -Jenna & Lauren
“soooooooo much fun…we did the best we have ever done, no question. We aren’t the biggest here and we don’t compete like most of the other bands do, but we kicked serious butt anyway. Go mercer : )” – dani o.
“The crowd loved every second of it which made us perform even better. I think they enjoyed it because we have a different kind of performance and personality that’s different then all of the other bands. It also helped that our dancing was super awesome.” Proud to be an Islander -Kelly G
“Today was scary
But oh so cool
Our spirit was merry
Even though we were sweating pools
It was so hot
But it was so worth it
Seeing Mr. Lane tear up on the spot
Because we rocked it!
Our love for band
Has grown so huge
Thatnas seniors remember
We tear up too
Our last field show went out with a bang
The crowd cheered loud
And our hearts sang
Mr. Bixby, lane, Wanzer, edwards, bentley and mrs. Krell
We extend our gratitude for your wonderful attitude!”
Wow! I have felt like this band is my family since freshman year, but I have never felt as close to everyone in this program as I feel today. That was an outstanding performance! We received a standing ovation from the audience!I was one of many emotional teens trying to hold back my tears after my last field show of MI band. Mr. Lane cried too I would like to thank my parents for moving me to the mercer island school district so that I could have this amazing experience that has really shaped my time at MIHS. This has been a truly memorable time of my life. P.O.I.
Proud to be a band islander, Sophie L
That was such a fantastic experience. I cannot explain the feeling of everything. It was truly a one in a life time thing. Hahaha
I am so proud of our band having worked so hard. We make a great team!! Thanks to everyone who supported us it is greatly appreciated!!! I am so grateful to live in such a spirited and caring community!
Today we got to sleep in until 7!!! Woohoo! We took our professional photo in front of the Rose Bowl and got to view the parade floats. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more porta potties in my life. The day got really insane when we started warming up for bandfest. For many, it was while we were staging when reality set in and we realized that this was finally happening after soo many months of our blood, sweat and tears. We poured our souls into preparing for this And we killed it in our performance (in a good way). The crowd loved it and the show was unreal. I don’t remember half it, everthing happened so fast. The crowd went absolutely nuts and we even drove Mr. Lane to tears. It was the most emotional, fantastic, crazy experience ever.
Hyped on adrenaline, the band was treated to Universal Studios and the city walk where we ate at the hard rock cafe. By far the highlight of the entire trip so far was the impromptu dance party the band had. They had a DJ in the square and we moshed like there was no tomorrow. The band tore up the dance floor and while waiting for the buses, sang all the songs in our repertoire and chanted all our favorite MIHS cheers. Even the security guards couldn’t help but smile and get caught up in the moment. I can guarantee that no other band in the rose parade had the spirit to come together like we did tonight. Describing today’s events is impossible to do justice and like the bus driver for bus # 1 said, ” coming to the rose parade isn’t just an experience, it’s an adventure.” There’s no place like band!
By band-rose11-trip | December 30, 2011
We are all exhausted after a couple of long days but excited for what the coming days bring us. For those who wish to watch our performance at Band Fest tomorrow can watch the webcast at
Mercer Island is performing around 3:30 PST while the entire show starts at 2pm. Enjoy our show and GO MI!
By band-rose11-trip | December 30, 2011
Today is our first full day in CA. Waking up at five in the morning was a pain and the four hour rehearsal was hot and brutal. But people now know how to prepare for band fest tomorrow and I feel like the morning today really prepared us well. Last minute things are happening like a new parade block and new bits to play at Disney land. But despite all the heat and dry air, Mr. Bixby has managed to keep morale high and lots of people are excited for the amusement park afternoon. It feels like summer and many people are wearing shorts and t-shirts. It’s so nice. ^.^ This experience in Pasadena has been amazing and the best has yet to come. I will never forget memories from here.
After soaking up the sun at our four hour rehearsal, we are currently headed to Knots Berry Farm with excitement and hungry bellies! With the California traffic were sure to sneak in another needed nap and reflect on our trip so far. Our final rehearsal drew native Californians to the stadium, watching with amusement and wonder. The long days allow us to get the very most out of our time here, bonding closer with our bandmates then ever before. From squeezing very tightly into elevators, to eating breakfast cheerily at 6 am, to the barbaric cheers and feasting with our hands at Medieval Times, we’ve all grown closer. This trip is already filled with remarkable memories, but even as we write this more are in the making. Go MI!
-Alex S. and Katie R.
This trip is amazing! Everyone is having a blast, despite 5 hours of sleep. You would not guess what we saw today at our 4 hours rehearsal, the sun! It was bright, hot and exhausting. All in all though we are looking great for the parade, Bandfest, and Disneyland.I cannot believe it that we are part of this event. It is so special, so thanks are required all around to the directors and teacher, parents, friends, family, and most importantly the Mercer Island community.
I am currently on the bus looking out the window at everything there is to observe. I have noticed that for every freeway exit there is a corresponding Denny’s. This is very annoying as it makes me hungry. In other news, I a, stoked that practice went well and now we can go have fun for the rest of the day.
Today was awesome! One of my favorite parts about this trip is the sense of family within the band. As we walked through the park and as band members would see each other we would always stop to say hi or tell each other jokes or sing songs. Even if we don’t know the band member very well were just so united as a band and all are proud of what were apart of. It’s so special to be here and to be with these people. I’m so thankful for my band family and this amazing trip! –McKenna T.
Nicole and Rachel will now grace this scene after chilling with 10,000 of our closest friends. Our dreams of going on every single roller coaster (well Nicole’s anyway) were crushed after waiting an hour for food. However highlights include Rachel’s escapade on the carosel ostrich, and a picture that may be hard to imagine. She probably won’t let us show it to you anyway. All in all not a bad day considering we all forgot to go into detail on what happened in the morning. Thanks for all your support!!!!!!!!!!!! Lots of love, R&N
Captain Nolan Conway, Stardate:148784: today when we went to Knotts Berry Farm, we gotta scramble around a amusement park until we realized every ride had a 40+ minute line. This was acceptable after being incinerated by the sun. the Silver Bullet was e p I c . LAAAAAAAANNNEE. Shoutout to Ben Pirie for that one person
By band-rose11-trip | December 30, 2011
I would like to apologize for the lateness in these posts. We had some trouble connecting to the Internet at our hotel. These posts are from students yesterday. We’re all having a great time!
Despite mishaps with setting alarms, suffering from grogginess from late night college apping and standing in long lines at starbucks, flight group number two made it to the gate without a problem.
We managed to surprise the flight attendants with not only the size of our group, but also with how we passed out within ten minutes of boarding. After landing, the flight attendant directed our attention to the right, and we proceeded to gawk at the largest two-tiered airplane in the world. Then,
as Miley Cyrus would say, “(we) hopped off the plane at LAX with our dreams and (our travel sweatshirts)”.
11:03 AM- Stuck in traffic in LA. What a surprise. The Getty museum looms in the distance, but the unending trail of cars in front of us moves at a slow crawl.
11:57 AM- Our talented bus driver navigates our top heavy charter bus through the concrete maze of a parking garage, parking finally after an hours drive to let us off to enjoy a beautiful afternoon at the Getty Museum.
2:50 PM- Back on the bus. We could have spent the day enjoying the fragrant gardens, thought provoking sculptures and realistic paintings. However wth limited time, we could only hit the highlights and take pictures of the stunning views. Could not ask for nicer weather… Sorry Seattlelites.
3:05 PM- More traffic.
Vigrin America was an incredible airline that exceeded my expectations. The in flight entertainment was top notch. Everything went smoothly from the airport to the buses. The Getty Museum was beautiful and the art exemplified modern thinking. But the best part of all is the bright sun and the clear blue skies. This is gonna be an incredible trip!!!!!!!!!!1!!!
This day has had a lot of interesting activities, and a lot of waiting for people to use the bathrooms. We got to see the art work of the Getty’s Museum, take a long hour to get to the hotel, and then rap up the night with an AMAZING dinner and show at Medevaltimes. Let’s just say a lot of us will not have voices tomorrow and half the band has a new favorite word… YELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!! Freaking amazing!!!
Had so much fun at the (k)night club! The food was awesome and the time we spent there was great! We’re all going to wake up without our voice because of the cheering,sadly yellow didn’t win.
The knight dealio was pretty crazy. Nobody knew what to expect and we all in the end found ourselfs screaming “Yellow!” constantly for over a hour. The food was not the best but the show was very funny. I am very existed to go back to the hotel and sleep!
We are yellow. We are inspired. Shout out to the couple who had their honeymoon at medieval times. Unreal. Unreal.
Crazy night at the knight club, going hard all night. Death to blue. Why would you have a honeymoon there….
By jwright | December 24, 2011
Hello and welcome to the Mercer Island High School Band’s Tournament of Roses Trip Blog!
My name is John G and I am a junior trombone player. Like every other member of the band, this trip is something I am SUPER excited about, for both the parade, and also getting some needed sunshine down in southern California. Whether you are a band parent, a resident of Mercer Island, or someone who just stumbled upon this blog, you will be able to read student-written posts during the trip, chronicling our activities which will range from a day at Disneyland to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. And of course, our trip will include performing in the world-renowned Rose Parade on January 2nd. However, this amazing experience is something that would not be possible without our amazing community, which has supported us through so much this year, as well as through our past journeys to London, China, and the soggy 2006 Rose Parade. None of this could have been accomplished your support, so on behalf of the band, thank you!
As many of you know, this past week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the band had our final rehearsals before leaving for California on the 28th. For all of us in the band, the trip completely snuck up on us, as it feels like yesterday that I was sitting at the computer, feeling very sad after my flight to London was canceled by snow on the East Coast. Even though these rehearsals meant waking up early on the first days of winter break, I loved coming every morning because everyone was always trying their hardest, and we were really getting great things accomplished. It is so amazing to see how far this group has come in just four months when we started band camp in August, as we have improved by great lengths. How we sounded at the rehearsals made me even more excited for the trip, and I can’t wait to show the rest of the world what the Mercer Island Band is all about!
After practicing for an hour in the high school stadium, the entire band got on six or seven buses, and headed down to Kent to practice at the Boeing Space Center in their parking lots. Each day we marched a little more than the last, getting up to 4 miles on Wednesday, only a mile and a half shy of marching the entire parade! However, my arms were about ready to fall off afterwards, as holding a trombone and playing for 4 miles got tiring very quickly. Luckily, on the parade route, the adrenaline of performing in front of millions on TV and almost a million people on the streets will ease the pain on parade day. During the rehearsal, though, what kept me, as well as the other band members, were the baked treats and hot chocolate waiting for us at the end of rehearsal, generously served by awesome parents who gave up their morning to watch us practice and later feed very hungry and cold teenagers. After we finished our marching for the day, when Mr. Bixby (our band director) would let us get snack, the entire band broke out into a full sprint over to the parents for some brownies or hot cocoa. These parents’ dedication to our program is one of those little things that means the world to the entire band, and we are so grateful for all they have done for us!
It is still hard to imagine that in less than a week I will be on a plane heading for California with 280 of my closest friends, and 20 awesome and very brave adult chaperones. This trip has been something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of since I was in 5th grade, when I watched the band march down Colorado Boulevard in the pouring rain in 2006. Whether you are heading down to California with the band, or are planning on watching the parade on TV, I cannot thank you enough for supporting the band, and I hope that our performance makes you proud, because in the end that’s what means the most to us as a program.
Keep visiting this blog starting on the 28th for more student written entries that will let you know what the band is up to on our trip!
Thank you so much!