NCCU band to march in 2011 Tournament of Roses

Posted November 9, 2009 11:53 a.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2009 3:06 p.m. EST

— The "Marching Sound Machine" band from North Carolina Central University has been selected to participated in the 2011 Tournament of Roses parade, officials said Monday.

The parade will take place on Jan. 1, 2011, in Pasadena, Calif.

“There is Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Trophy for most outstanding college or university band and the Tournament of Roses Parade,” N.C. Central band director Jorim Reid said in a statement. “The rose parade was in my 15-year plan. I didn’t intend to submit an application for another seven years.”

Bands are selected for the parade based on their musicianship, marching ability and showmanship. Reid said he emphasizes musicianship above all else.

“It’s all about their skill as musicians,” he said. “We don’t want to blast our audience but rather engage them with a high-quality listening experience.”

Reid’s success over the course of his eight years as director at N.C. Central, particularly his band’s five consecutive appearances at the annual Honda Battle of the Bands, gained the attention of Tournament of Roses officials, and he was encouraged to apply.

The band will ramp up practices in the coming months, and the university will try to raise the approximately $2,000 per student it will cost to attend the California events. Part of the rose parade experience for the musicians includes assistance with float preparation and performance at Bandfest during the three days prior to New Year’s Day 2011.