AMHERST (CBS) – New Year’s Day will be big for the UMass Minuteman Marching Band.
The 400-member band will march in the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California during its first visit to the Golden State. The televised parade steps off at 11 a.m. on Jan. 1.
The UMass band will join 20 other marching bands selected from across the country to participate in the renowned parade, along with 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 the band’s 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.”
The band has been preparing for the event for more than a year, since receiving an invitation to the parade in October 2016.
Band members have learned new music and practiced for the five and a half-mile long parade, which will be the longest parade the band has ever performed in.
While in California, the band is scheduled to perform in Bandfest on Friday and at Disneyland on Saturday.
During the Rose Parade, the band will perform “Firework” by pop singer Katy Perry, the UMass fight song and God Bless America.