The Lancer Marching Band will conduct their first performance of the school year at the upcoming football game against Nashua North on September 15, at 7 p.m., but that is not all the band has coming up in the near future.
273 students make up the band and the color guard, according to Londonderry High School Principal Jason Parent, and many of them will be heading to Pasadena, California this winter to take part in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Only 22 bands from all over the world will march in the Tournament of Roses, which began in the winter of 1890 as a “promotional effort” by Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club. They wanted to showcase Pasadena’s charm during the winter months to promote travel to that area, according to the Tournament of Roses website.
10 of the 22 bands will hail from high schools across the country. The Londonderry Lancers’ Marching Band was notified in October that they would be one of them. They will be representing both New Hampshire and the rest of New England.
The parade will take place January 1, 2018, and will be the band’s fifth appearance. Their first performance in the parade was 25 years ago. The parade lasts two and a half hours, with over a million spectators along the 5.5 mile route in addition to the parade’s national reach of over 60 million people, said Londonderry High School Music Director Andrew Soucy.
This will also be their eighth “Bowl Game Parade” appearance, according to Soucy. In addition to their appearances in the Tournament of Roses Parade, The Lancers have previously performed at two Citrus Bowls in Orlando, Florida, and one Orange Bowl in Miami.
To prepare them for the parade, and to help them raise the money to get them to Pasadena, the band will host a Walk-a-Thon and Wellness Fair on September 30. The walk will be five miles long, and students who plan to travel to Pasadena are required to participate.
“Because the actual parade on January 1 is 5.5 miles long, it is important that students get a ‘feel’ for what that distance is like,” said Soucy.
Students who participate will also have an opportunity to solicit sponsors as a fundraiser. Anyone is allowed to participate, not just the students going on the trip. The band welcomes friends and families to participate in the walk as well.
The Lancers have held this event for “strengthening and conditioning” as training for each Rose Bowl they have participated in. Their first appearance was in 1992, followed by more in 1997, 2004, 2011, and now the upcoming 2018 trip.
The Lancers are also hosting a series of other fundraisers to help with the fares to California. They are selling Dunkin Donuts Coupon Books for $10 each that contain over $25 in savings to Dunkin Donuts. Each student receives $7 in their account giving them a 70 percent profit. All coupons are valid until August 31, 2018. coupon books are available at Thursday night practices from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Also coming up is the Lancers 2nd annual mattress sale, taking place on Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Londonderry High School cafeteria. All mattresses are brand names with full manufacturer warranties for up to 50 percent of retail prices. A portion for all proceeds will benefit student’s personal travel accounts.
For more information on how to help fund the Lancers’ trip to California, visit their website at lancermusic.org.