HUNTLEY – Three students from Huntley High School’s marching band will start their New Year’s Day on a prominent stage, helping kick off the Rose Bowl to millions across the globe.
Students Zoe Detlaf, Adam Sundling and Rachelle Jacobs will join 322 other student musicians in a national ensemble that will perform in the 124th annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
The 5.5-mile parade has been a mainstay of pregame festivities meant to get millions of college football fans energized to watch the top teams from the Big 10 and Pac 12 battle for Rose Bowl honors.
The three members of the Huntley Marching Red Raiders competed against students throughout the nation for spots on the Bands of America Honor Band ensemble. Only 14 students from Illinois were selected, including the three from Huntley.
“I think it says that students of the band program have great enthusiasm for band, marching band and music in general,” said Nick Konwerski, the school’s marching band director. “We have a growing number of students in band, as well as talent among those students.”
This is the first time any Huntley High School student was selected to play in the Honor Band. The ensemble features wind and percussion sections and a flag and dance team.
Juniors Detlaf and Sundling have been marching for the Red Raiders for three years, playing flute and trumpet, respectively. Sophomore Jacobs has been playing flute for the band since her freshman year.
The Honor Band is one of 21 marching bands from South Dakota to Japan to perform in the Rose Parade, which also features trendy, high-tech floats from nearly two dozen participants, including Macy’s, HGTV and Disneyland.
All three Huntley students will spend a week in southern California, rehearsing with retired music director Bob Buckner, who most recently instructed the Western Carolina University marching band.
Each high school student who competed for the Honor Band ensemble had to submit a recorded audition.
The Rose Bowl festivities begin at 10 a.m. Central Time on New Year’s Day. The parade is broadcast on many major TV networks to national and international markets.
“It was unexpected to have three students accepted; however, I am not shocked that any of them put in the appropriate amount of preparation to the audition material to receive this honor,” Konwerski said.