KTLA-TV is sharing video footage from all of the bands, including Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, that marched in the Rose Parade. Visit the station’s web site to watch video of the WCU band to vote for WCU as the best band in the Rose Parade. (Note: WCU’s band is listed as “West Carolina University.” The university’s name was listed incorrectly in one of the Tournament of Roses event programs.)
Other related posts at roseparade.wcu.edu include a collection of comments from band members and fans about the parade, videos of band director Bob Buckner and Chancellor John W. Bardo speaking to the band after the parade as well as a video of a drummer giving his drumsticks to a parade-goer, and slideshows of the band taken from a media stand on the parade route and the warm reception the members received upon their arrival back at the hotel.
Later on Jan. 1, the band celebrated the year at a more than 4-hour band banquet. Members gave speeches expressing thanks to all who made the year possible and special thanks was offered to director Bob Buckner, who plans to retire in the spring.
The evening included presentations from formal awards to less-formal awards, including gold-painted paintbrushes “inscribed” with “You paint the fields of our hearts” presented to volunteers who helped paint the lines on the practice field.
Many expressed gratitude to Chancellor John W. Bardo for his support of the band and helping it grow, including his role in changing the group’s name from the Marching Cats to the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. “He changed our world,” said Buckner.
Students shared memories of personal experiences with Buckner, who was presented with a Silver Baton award. Keith Marwitz, a senior, remembered the talk Buckner gave him after he was late his first day as a freshman. “I have never been late again,” said Marwitz light-heartedly. Drum major Amy Shuford recalled how Buckner told her he wanted her in his band and gave her his card when she was at WCU for a band event years before she came to Western Carolina. “I just want to let you know I still have your business card in my wallet,” said Shuford. Kate Murphy, an alumna who works at WCU and instructs the color guard, read a letter she wrote to Buckner in which she said the Pride makes her heart explode with purple and gold. “You make non-band people fall in love with us.”
The band will enjoy Disneyland on Jan. 2 before begin travels back to North Carolina.