Tigers start 2012 in rosy fashion

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By Destiny Rivera | Interim Managing Editor

Showstoppers (RCC Marching Tigers)

By Destiny Rivera | Interim Managing Editor

“Everything is coming up roses” for the Riverside City College Marching Tigers as they were the opening act and the official band of the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade this year.

While Gary Locke was in London fulfilling other responsibilities, Paul Locke took over for this event.

Paul’s role is to write the drill each year.

“It was an honor to open the 123rd Rose Parade. I am always blown away at the numerous people that line the streets to watch this parade with their video cameras, phones, iPads, and cameras and how happy everyone is,” Paul said. “It is the one day where everything in the world seems without problems and everybody is optimistic about the upcoming year.”

Former drum major Kurt Kilgus was also a big help towards the production.

“I’m credited as a marching/visual staff member or instructor, I teach and correct the students marching fundamentals and technique, as well as help choreograph other movement/visuals that they perform, and in the case of a parade, help “set” the parade block order,” Kilgus said.

“I also help with teaching and correcting the music we perform, but a bigger role I have is to help Gary Locke with behind-the-scenes logistics and organization of rehearsals and events,” Kilgus said.

He also shared his advice to his fellow band members.

“Take time to enjoy the audience, and not just focus on the band block formation.” Kilgus said.

Although Kilgus does not prefer preforming in parades over field shows, he does appreciate the kind of event that they are and the exposure they provide.

“More people saw us live, not to mention the millions or billions of TV viewers world-wide, in the opening minutes of the Rose Parade than saw us all fall season combined to perform our field show, which is our usual “thing” to entertain crowds,” Kilgus said.

“In years when we’ve traveled in Indianapolis to perform in Lucas Oil Stadium…for the Bands of America Grand National Championships, the “pinnacle” of marching band competitions, the maximum capacity crowd that sees us is 35,000,” Kilgus said. “In the first several blocks of the Rose Parade, around three times that many people enjoyed our sights and sounds. Then there was still the remaining six plus miles of parade route overflowing with people who saw and heard us.”

For the band members performing in an event like the Rose Parade is a once in a lifetime experience.

“I really enjoyed it, I thought it was a great experience,” said clarinet player Caitlyn Reeves.

The excitement of the moment didn’t provide for a great night’s sleep, but Reeves didn’t seem to mind as adrenaline kept her up.

 “We’re supposed to sleep for four hours, but I think got maybe 20 minutes of sleep.”

First year tuba player Steven Devore just wanted to make sure to stay in the moment.

“After finishing the Rose Parade it was an incredible feeling. I didn’t really know what to expect from it,” Devore said. “All the veterans in the band were saying it’s great feeling, take all the emotions in.”

At over six miles long, the Rose Parade is one of the longest routes to tackle. Luckily for Reeves, veteran band members gave her sound advice.

“To not overplay for the first couple miles because the last couple you would just die,” Reeves said.

Both Locke and Kilgus put a lot of their time and dedication into this production.

“This year’s parade was truly magical, a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform and entertain,” Kilgus said. “The RCC Marching Tigers have had the privilege of that opportunity on six different occasions, including three of the last four years, and I’ve been extremely lucky to participate in four of them.”

Locke’s thoughts throughout the parade were strictly on no dropouts.

“Also, we had to alter the drum cadences a little to make sure that the trumpets had enough time for their lips to recuperate,” Locke said.

Over all, he believes that this was the best production they have ever been a part of.


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