Four Porterville High School seniors from the Panther Marching Band spoke about their experiences during the weekend in Los Angeles and marching in the Hollywood Christmas Parade on Sunday.
Band members were rehearsing music for the Children’s Christmas Parade in Porterville on Thursday, December 5, when they’ll be marching in the parade.
Band Director Clark Keele had all the students warming up their instruments, and playing, getting ready to practice in the band room.
He said, “We got back at 1 a.m. last night from Los Angeles from playing in the parade.”
Seniors Roberto Zavala, who plays the Baritone Euphonium, Uniese Carrillo, who plays the flute, Lynlee Davis, who plays the small Glockenspiel, and Levi Davis, who plays the tenor saxophone, all reflected on their experience in Hollywood.
The band and accompanying teachers, chaperones, and Keele left early on Saturday and they had a full day of fun at Universal Studio and they also went to the Getty Museum.
“It was great,” said Lynlee, “Being able to watch the people along the parade route, when the music spoke to them, when we played ‘The Sounds of Christmas,’ which is a bunch of the Christmas carols all put together.”
The students said it was freezing waiting for the parade to start, but they really enjoyed meeting all the students from all the other bands; students from Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and all across the U.S. All coming to play in the Hollywood Christmas parade.
The band members said it’s been a while since the band was in the Hollywood Christmas Parade. They went to Hawaii during their freshman year, and the Panther Band played at Disneyland for both their sophomore and junior years.
“Personally, l thought it was a pretty amazing to be a part of something where people from all over the U.S. were playing together,” said Zavala. “And my favorite part was being able to talk to people from the other bands from other places in the U.S.”
Levi said, “It was a long trip and very cold. But it was really fun to talk to other band members, and they were very professional.”
Lynlee spoke about the parade being televised on TV, and talked about the parade being about 3-and-a-half miles long on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles. She said, “We didn’t get to see the stars on Hollywood Boulevard.
But it was a really good way to round out our high school senior year.”
“I remember the red carpet, and the big blow up Gingerbread Man Float in front of all of us,” said Carrillo. “When it turned, we all knew we had to turn, too.”
The band members said the whole of Hollywood Boulevard. was packed with spectators.
“We all enjoyed ourselves,” said Carrillo, “and it was really fun.”
The band was featured in an aerial shot during KCAL Channel 9’s coverage of the page. The link to view the coverage is https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/4225763-view-from-above-hollywood-christmas-parade/