BROOMFIELD - Clay Stansberry has had a secret that he's been dying to tell. The Director of Bands for Legacy High School received a letter of good news at the heights of the flooding issues. So, he decided to wait until Wednesday to tell his students they're headed to California.
"I've been waiting for two weeks," Stansberry said. "I just wanted to tell everybody."
Wednesday morning, he assembled his 150-plus member marching band in the auditorium of Legacy High School in Broomfield. With cameras and media there, he played a little ruse on the students telling them reporters were doing a story on their upcoming music festival. In reality, he started reading a letter from the Tournament of Roses Association to invite them to play in one of the most prestigious parades in the country.
"It's a huge honor," Stansberry said. "Many, many bands apply. Over 100 bands applied this year. It's a crowning achievement for any band program in the nation."
Justine Allenbach is a senior Drum Major who was one of dozens of band members who started to cry at the news.
"It's very exclusive and only offered to bands that have showed this excellence in their past," Allenbach said. "Proves that hard work and dedication to something that you're passionate about takes you extremely far in life."
She's emotional and she doesn't even get to go. Legacy High School will play in the 126th Annual Rose Parade on January 1st 2015 - after she graduates.
"I'm sad that I'm leaving," Allenbach said. "It's my last year and when I came into this program, I never thought it would mean so much to me."
Sophomore Ryan Kelso gets to go to Pasadena, California in 2015.
"I'm really excited," Kelso said. "It's a very big deal. I don't know anyone that's done it so."
In fact, no one in recent memory has done what Legacy High School has done, according to Stansberry. In 2011, Legacy played at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Stansberry says it's an amazing accomplishment to play at both parades.
"If there has been another band (that's played in both parades), it hasn't been recently," Stansberry said.
Kelso says this announcement proves that their hard work ethic pays off.
"It varies between discipline and you putting in the work that you need to," Kelso said. "And, it takes leadership, I think."
Now, the journey to the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl begins. Stansberry says he still needs to crunch the financial numbers, but he estimates that every student will need to raise about $2,000 to go.
"The fact that we're going, I think it's worth it," Kelso said.
"For those kids to look at the parade and for the rest of their lives and say I was once in that parade, I think that's more special than anything," Stansberry said.
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