The WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will perform “You” by California ska band Suburban Legends in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1 in honor of the late Ryan Dallas Cook, who helped write the song and was a member of Suburban Legends. The performance is intended as a celebration of a shared love for marching band from coast to coast.
After Cook’s death in a 2005 traffic accident, the ska band held a fundraiser in Cook’s honor that benefited his high school band at Huntington Beach High School since Cook credited much of his passion for music to his experience in the marching band. He was a marching band leader and completed his Eagle Scout project to benefit the marching band, in addition to other charitable work. When he was a sophomore in high school, he and his friends formed Suburban Legends, a ska group that continues to perform today.
As band leaders thought about the theme of this year’s Rose Parade, “Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories,” they reached out to Suburban Legends and requested permission to perform “You” in the Rose Parade because they were inspired by Cook’s life and by Suburban Legends’ tribute to him. They also wanted to build a friendship, so the band invited Cook’s family to the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30 to see WCU perform its field show “Rock U.” After the performance, the Cooks and HBHS band director Gregg Gilboe came to meet the group. The WCU band presented the Cooks with a WCU clock.
Hear more from Carlton Cook in the video below about the formation of Suburban Legends, the kind of music and shows the group performs, what Cook thought of the WCU show, what his son would have thought and what it means to their family that the WCU band will perform “You” in the Rose Parade. Also, listen below to “You” and see a Suburban Legends performace of the song in additional videos below.
The WCU band is scheduled to appear 49th in the parade, which begins at 8 a.m. PST Jan. 1. Band directors predict the group will be on TV about 11:45 a.m. EST.
In other news, several WCU band members went to the House of Blues on Dec. 30 to hear Suburban Legends perform as part of ska night. After the band performed “High Five,” they offered a high five to the WCU band for their upcoming performance in the Rose Parade.