Much like in “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” on Monday, December 27, this editor “had just settled down for a long winter’s nap – when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.”
In this case, the clatter was a tremendous orchestral sound of music echoing through Temescal Canyon from the Palisades High School football field – strong, beautiful and filled with emotion and joy.
My husband mentioned he thought that the band was practicing – but this music was not typical of what the local band had been playing, so Circling the News went over to the field around 8:30 p.m. to investigate.
The parking lot was filled with large buses and trucks. The entire football field had students executing complicated marching moves, while the music continued to overwhelm the canyon with beauty of sound. The flags of the color guard were incredible as the colors thrown about accentuated each song and the mood of the music.
Parents who were watching, told me that they were from Carrollton, Texas (northeast of Dallas), and the Hebron Band, had been chosen to march in the Rose Parade.
Hebron High School is located in Carrollton and is part of the Lewisville Independent School District. There were about 350+ students participating, under four band directors, Andy Sealy (director of bands), Travis Pruitt (associate director), Zach Houston (percussion director) and Justin Sullivan (color guard director).
The band was founded in 1999 and had just been crowned the 2021 State 6A Marching Band Champion and BOA San Antonio Super Regional Champion.
Hebron High School, with 3,583 students in grades 9 through 12, serves a diverse population – with 22 percent of the families economically challenged. The band annually launches a community food drive, partnering with the North Texas food bank to support the food-insecure in north Texas.
Why was the Hebron Marching Band in Pacific Palisades?
This editor had read in the L.A. Daily News, that for the Rose Parade, “bands practice their field shows at home for many months, and when they get to California, ‘they usually find a local school or area near to where they are lodging’ to fine tune everything. A couple days later, the bands make their 5-mile march down Colorado Boulevard and surrounding streets.”
The band, which had taken the Texas Championship, was staying at a hotel near the airport.
I asked the parents how the Hebron musicians ended up in Pacific Palisades and they weren’t sure. They said the field they were supposed to practice on didn’t materialize and all “of a sudden, we’re in Pacific Palisades.”
According to the Daily News, every year between 50 to 70 bands apply and the criteria for selection includes “musicianship, marching ability, uniqueness and entertainment value. In addition, bands with the ability to perform field show maneuvers while marching are preferred. There is no band size requirement, and participants come from around the world.”
Although in the 2022 Rose Parade, all bands will be from the United States. The Hebron Band is number 63 in the lineup.
Additionally, the bands participate in Bandfest, which means they showcase their performances on December 29 and 30 at Robinson Stadium, Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. General admission $20; children 5 and younger, free. Parking is free on campus at Structure 4 off Del Mar Avenue. More information at tournamentofroses.com. The Hebron Band will perform on Thursday, December 30.
And if Palisades residents are lucky, the band will come back for a final rehearsal. If not, visit: click here.