On Dec. 28, the Ohio University Marching 110 left for Los Angeles for what was to be our first mark on the West Coast. Although the journey only lasted six days, it was a trip of a lifetime.
While the main reason the 110 headed to California was for the Rose Parade, the itinerary for the week was full of continuous activities in order to gain the real ?Cali? experience.
During the first couple days, the band had some real fun by heading to Downtown Disney and Universal Studios. In Universal, we were able to head backstage for some of the most-viewed TV shows across America.
Day three in California was Bandfest day. The Bandfest, held at Pasadena Community College, began bright and early with rehearsal. It consisted of performances from marching bands from not only the United States, but from other countries as well. The Marching 110 performed crowd favorites, ?Separate Ways,? ?God Bless the Broken Road? and ?Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.?
Another highlight of the trip was the full tour of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., as well as the bus tour of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. In small groups, the band was given a view of where all the celebrities walk the red carpet and accept their Oscar awards.
On the tour of Los Angeles, our tour guide showed us every corner of the City of Angels.
On New Year?s Eve, we dipped our feet into the Pacific and viewed the gorgeous sunset while walking along the Santa Monica Pier.
Friday Jan. 1, 2010, the Marching 110 marched in the 121st Rose Parade. The band stepped off at 8:30 a.m. onto Colorado Blvd. The streets were lined with lawn chairs and grandstands filled with spectators and fans. The band played ?Stand Up and Cheer,? ?I Want You Back? (Jackson 5 classic), as well as drum and dance cadences. We ended the five-and-a-half-mile parade with ?Funk,? which drove the fans to their feet cheering.
Our last full day in California was spent in magical Disneyland. There we enjoyed reliving our childhood through roller coasters, the Hollywood Tower of Terror and all the different Disney characters.