Showing Off Smiles and Steps in US EventKyoto Tachibana High School's Brass Band
It has been decided that approximately 200 members, including current students and alumni, of Kyoto Tachibana High School's brass band, located in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, will appear in the "Rose Parade," one of the biggest parades in the United States, which is held on January 1 every year. This is the second time for the brass band to participate after first participating in 2012, but it is for the first time a group from Japan was selected to appear twice in the very popular competition. The students are excited, saying, "We'd like to energize everyone with our smiles."
The Rose Parade takes place in Pasadena, California, USA, and in it, flowery floats, equestrian units, marching bands and others walk in roughly nine kilometer procession. The event attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators. It is said that children in the United States long to participate in the parade, as only 20 groups can participate despite applications from hundreds of groups from the US and other parts of the world. This is a popular New Year event, along with the "Rose Bowl," which determines the best college American football team in the United States.
The Kyoto Tachibana High School's brass band is a powerhouse in high school marching bands, and is nicknamed "Orange Devils" for the color of their uniforms. Unlike ordinary marching bands, they are characterized by their dynamic, dance-like steps during their musical performance. When they appeared in the parade in 2012, they received a big round of applause from the American audience.
Having won the second entry partly thanks to their good reputation in 2012, the students are vigorously practicing. In late-June the students played music to welcome people related to the parade who visited them from the United States. Annette Kelley, a volunteer staff member of the hosting organization said, "It was an energetic performance. We are looking forward to watching it in the parade."
Ami Ishida, third-year student and captain of the band, said, "I am really moved because we can join the parade thanks to our alumni. Our strong points are our smiles and dynamic steps, and we would like to give the best performance."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)