Broughton High School band to march in Tournament of Roses parade

Posted December 20, 2011
Updated December 21, 2011

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— The Broughton High School band is preparing to march in the Tournament of Roses parade Jan. 2 in Pasadena, Calif. 

"They've actually given us the coveted final parade spot," Broughton High band director J.R. Richardson said Tuesday amid the band's rehearsals on campus. 

It will be the second time the school has marched the nearly 6-mile route. The band was among the 10 high school bands given the honor in 2008. 

"I technically was supposed to retire last year, but I hung around one more year when this happened," Richardson said. 

Broughton's band had 15 months to prepare and raise money to cover the nearly $500,000 travel bill to the parade. Band members practiced carrying instruments while they marched 6 miles around the school's track. They also worked on perfecting two songs – "Grand Ol' Flag" and "God Bless America." 

"Every day, I see a little more improvement," Richardson said. 

Broughton band ready for Tournament of Roses parade Broughton band ready for Tournament of Roses parade

It will be drum major Caroline Sprecher's second Tournament of Roses parade. She said she is nervous but not worried. 

"Once you get there, the adrenaline of having so many people watching and cheering you on is just incredible, and you really just ride on it the whole way," Sprecher said. 

The Broughton High marching band leaves Dec. 28 for California. 


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  • djofraleigh Dec 22, 2011

    BHS has a great band, and the invitation is an honor, but I don't see the honor in paying a half-million bucks yourself to go perform for them there, and a few moments of TV time. If the band were being paid expenses to travel and perform, that would be different.

  • Carrieb37 Dec 22, 2011

    I love the Broughton marching band. They are spectacular! Every year they set the pace for marching bands in the Raleigh Christmas parade. This year they marched twice and gave the crowd the additional thrill of following Santa and closing the parade! Awesome!

  • cwood3 Dec 21, 2011

    Thanks for the clarification "oust"!! AMEN about the oust in 2012.
    I say ABO-anybody but Obama!!!

  • oustobama12 Dec 21, 2011

    Cwood3, they went in 2008. Four years ago. They will march again in the 2012 parade.

  • cwood3 Dec 21, 2011

    If I'm not mistaken, Broughton's Marching Band went to the Rose Bowl Parade 2 or 3 years ago-I remember seeing them on TV. Matter of fact, I'm sure it was 3 years ago because I was at a few of the Glaxo games 4 years ago(when Lorenzo Brown of State was a Sr. for a high school near Atlanta), and I think I made a contribution toward the trip.

    Safe travels!! I know you will represent North Carolina very well.

  • oustobama12 Dec 21, 2011

    YouMakeItSoEasy, the story is up now, but maybe it is because the protests at the school board are becoming commonplace.

    The Broughton Band going to its second Tournament of Roses Parade in four years is newsworthy.

  • tobykat Dec 21, 2011

    impatient girl - in the late 80's - early 90s, they went to the Orange bowl and George Bush Sr's inauguration.

    Good for Broughton. The students deserve all the credit and they've earned a fun trip.

  • dmccall Dec 21, 2011


    HGTV definitely has the best coverage.

  • lyteoflife Dec 21, 2011

    dwntwnboy: FYI - HGTV Network is showing the parade commercial free. Way to go Broughton! Not just representing your school and Wake County...but NC and all the talent we have here! Good luck!

  • Screw WrAl Dec 21, 2011

    Good for them, but I notice wral has not bothered to run a story about the protests yesterday against the school board. Wonder why that is?