PASADENA (CBSLA) — The annual Rose Parade will be a special moment for the students of Saugus High School with four students marching the route as part of a special band.
“I just want us to be able to enjoy the parade,” Benjamin Bartel, a Saugus sophomore who plays the baritone sax, said.READ MORE: Prince Philip Laid To Rest As England Mourns; Prince Harry Attends Funeral
Bartel, along with Hannah Biane, a freshman trumpet player, Jason Treanor, a junior trumpet player, and Rachel Ramirez, a senior snare player, are among the more than 200 students selected to play in the Tournament of Roses Honor Band this year.
They and other talented high school musicians from across Southern California were selected to join students from Pasadena City College to play in the prestigious band after auditioning in October.
“Very rigorous, time consuming, but it’s very rewarding,” Bartel said.
And for these four, practicing for the Rose Parade helped them through the shock and sadness after a shooting at their school killed two in November.READ MORE: Man Apologizes To Rams Star Aaron Donald For Mistakenly Accusing Him In Pittsburgh Assault
“They gave us a lot of time off afterwards, so it’s been nice to be with other people and not be like stuck at home alone,” Treanor said.
The students said the theme of this year’s Rose Parade, “The Power of Hope,” and the songs they’ll be performing have special significance to them.
“Our first song, that only our band is actually allowed to play, is ‘Everything is Coming Up Roses,'” Ramirez said.
On Monday, the band gave a preview performance at the annual Bandfest held at Pasadena City College.
“I don’t want the four of us to be known as the Tournament of Roses kids who were involved in the Saugus Shooting, but Saugus kids who are involved in the Tournament of Roses band,” Ramirez said.MORE NEWS: Boy Shot, Killed In Cudahy; Gunman At Large
The parade kicks off Wednesday at 8 a.m.