- Business Advocacy
When the combined Alhambra Unified School District Band was chosen to march and play in the 2020 Rose Parade, there was no time to waste. Three different bands from San Gabriel, Alhambra, and Mark Keppel high schools had to be shaped into one cohesive and unified group. That meant 200 teenagers needed to be in shape, in unison, and in harmony to march down Colorado Boulevard in the biggest and most popular parade in the world.
The combined AUSD band has not marched in the Rose Parade since 2009, so there is the need to purchase new uniforms. These have already been ordered and should be here by October. There will also be expenses for transportation, food, and water on the day of the parade and other expenses estimated at $200,000. Fortunately, the Alhambra Educational Foundation has stepped up to the plate and is fundraising to give the band members an experience of a lifetime.
All the while, the students are rehearsing for their big day. At a recent practice on the field at San Gabriel High School, the band was divided into sections, with everyone grouped with the others who play the same instrument. The section practice consisted of keeping time for up to 50 individuals playing the same tune on the same instruments.
While they practiced, drum major Andy Lam, San Gabriel High School junior, had a free moment. He has been in the band for three years and started as a trumpet player. His fellow students picked him to be their drum major.
Tuba player Russell Ly, a senior at San Gabriel High School, has been accepted to attend the University of California at Merced in the fall. He plans to spend his winter break back in town to participate in the parade.
There are also eighth graders practicing with the band now. They will be high school freshmen next year and will be a part of the band Jan. 1. It is an exciting time for high school musicians in Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and Alhambra as they prepare for New Year’s Day 2020.
Now it is time for the community to step up to support these young people in their great adventure. Please consider making a donation to the Alhambra Educational Foundation in support of this community-wide effort. The foundation’s address is 1603 Chestnut St., Alhambra, 91803. Or call them at 626-943-3080.