Members of the award winning Albany State University Marching Band are excited about an invitation to participate in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade. The pride of Albany and Southwest Georgia will perform in the nationally televised event which takes place in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2016. It is a prelude to the college football playoff semifinal game that pits the nation’s top two ranking teams.
The criteria for selection are based on “excellent musicianship, strong performance skills, interesting entertainment value and outstanding directorship” according to Richard DeJesu, chairman of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
“We are extremely pleased and excited. It will showcase the hard work that our students and faculty have put toward this effort as they do all the time. We are also extremely proud of them and excited to showcase our institution,” said ASU interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Dr. Marcia Hood.
Michael Decuir, director of the Albany State Band submitted an application for consideration last spring to the Rose Bowl committee that included a performance video and recommendation letters from retired band directors at Florida A & M University, Jackson State University and Tennessee State University. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to participate in that parade. It’s the premier parade in this country,” said Decuir.
The invitation that arrived in early September, 15 months prior to the parade date, allows the band time to organize the trip across the country. A fundraising committee will be established to develop a budget with members comprised of Albany State Band faculty, staff, students and representatives from the Albany community.
“From band staff and members, to drum majors and section leaders, everyone has done their part to make sure that we become the best band in the land,” said drum major James Worthy, a senior education major from Albany, Ga. “My classmates and I are beyond ecstatic about the invitation. Our hard work, dedication and discipline finally paid off. We cannot wait until the day comes that we will march through the streets of California. We are the Marching Rams Show Band, a standard of excellence,” Worthy beamed.
“We are thrilled that the band was selected. The band members’ participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade will be an experience that they will remember and cherish for a lifetime,” said Dr. Florence Lyons, interim Chairwoman of ASU’s Department of Fine Arts.
The group, known affectionately as “the soul of Southwest Georgia, the sound of Albany and the beat of Dougherty County” includes 175 members. Chaperones and a host of fans will cheer them at the parade.
Donate to the Rams in the Roses Campaign
Albany State University is ecstatic about having the only band in the state of Georgia to march in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade in January. These exceptional student musicians will place Georgia and the entire Southern Region on an international stage. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. It will cost $3,000 per student to cover food, lodging, traveling, and other performance and event expenses for our 120 members to travel to Pasadena, California. Please help to make this dream a reality for these students and future leaders. To donate to the “Rams in the Roses and Beyond” campaign, visit http://www.gofundme.com/RamsintheRoses.
Source: Albany State University Communications