An American New Year’s Day tradition will have a little Canadian flavour, as a Lacombe high school student will play trumpet in the annual Rose Parade.
Eileen Humble, a Grade 12 student at Lacombe Composite High School, was chosen to be a part of the 325-piece ensemble Band of America Honour Band. Although she was born in Alabama, she has lived most of her life in Canada and was ecstatic that she was chosen.
“I am so excited,” said Humble, 18.
“This is definitely going to be an experience that will change who I am as a person. It will change me as a musician and it’s a milestone in my career.”
Her journey to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., started last summer when she went to camp.
At the Music for All’s Drum Major Academy, which takes place in the summer at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., she heard that the Band of America was looking for more players. She attended a meeting and learned about how she had to audition and what the opportunity was: playing in the Rose Parade.
“I got home and sent in my audition,” said Humble.
On Aug. 8, she mailed in her audition and a month later she heard back via email, saying she would have the chance to perform in the Rose Parade.
“I was very surprised, because this is an elite ensemble and I was surprised I had made it,” said Humble.
“Hundreds of people from the U.S. auditioned for this band and a Canadian made it.”
The 124th Rose Parade starts at 8 a.m. PST and stretches almost nine km along Colorado Boulevard in the Los Angeles suburb.
Although she will be a trumpeter in the parade, Humble started off playing piano and when she wanted a more challenging instrument, she initially looked to the trombone.
Unfortunately, her arms were too short, so she went with the trumpet.
She has been involved with the Red Deer Royals marching band for four years and last year she was the assistant drum major. This year, she is the drum major and conducts the band for field shows or leads the band during parades and spins the mace.
In the lead up to the parade, Humble has been busy rehearsing the music provided by the Band of America. The members are required to send in recordings of them playing before the event so the leaders can monitor their progress and where they should be in the parade.
She has to send in her last set of recordings by this Friday.
While in Los Angeles, Humble will not only perform in the Rose Parade, but also at Disneyland and at an exhibition at a football stadium. Those performances are the lead up to the big show in the parade.
“It’s going to be different, but I will definitely feel at home because there are so many musicians there and people who love music and marching,” said Humble.
Humble hopes music will be a big part of future and wants to pursue it in her post-secondary studies.