Kirby Blackwelder, a sophomore environmental health major from Charlotte who plays trumpet in the band, has mild cerebral palsy, which weakens the muscles on her left side leaving them tight. To prepare for the 5-and-a-half mile parade, Blackwelder increased and expanded her stretching routine.
“I was born 15 weeks premature and weighed one pound and 11 ounces. As a result, I have mild cerebral palsy,” said Blackwelder. “While in marching band, I have had a few more aches and pains than most people do but that has never stopped me from loving marching band.”
“Last year, I was not sure I was going to make it through the entire season. It was much more intense than I was used to in high school (South Mecklenburg High School), but because of the challenge it made every football game and every performance more special.”
“I am looking forward to being able to say that I was in the Rose Parade – knowing that all of my hard work brought me to Pasadena with the best band.”
Coming Soon to roseparade.wcu.edu: A list of the band members going to the Rose Parade, more features about band members and fans, and a schedule of the band’s trip