Marching Tigers blow away Europe

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Practice Makes Perfect: RCC Marching Tigers pull through another field practice. Photo by Luis Solis | Photo Editor
Practice Makes Perfect: RCC Marching Tigers pull through another field practice. Photo by Luis Solis | Photo Editor

While most college bands  take a break between semesters, Riverside City College’s own Marching Tigers took a trip overseas.

The 10-day trip paid for by the students themselves took the 123-performer band to England and Spain to perform at various parades and shows.

With students having to individually shell out $4,000 for the trip, around half the Marching Tigers had difficulties gathering the funds, so they accepted Riverside and Redlands high school band students into the Tigers for this special occasion.

The trip began in London.

Students got to march in the world famous New Year’s Day Parade and even appeared on the internationally popular British Broadcasting Corporation morning show, “Breakfast.”

This year the London New Year’s Day Parade attracted 8,500 other performers and was on a cold day of intense wind and rain. However that did not stop any of the brave Tigers from marching on.

“I didn’t care that my saxophone was getting ruined,” said Mel Rangel, an alto saxophone player who has been with the Marching Tigers for over a year. “I enjoyed the rain and seeing people enjoy us being there.”

But the rain in London turned out to be only a drizzle compared to the harsh gales of Toldeo, Spain, which battered the marchers with winds reaching 37 mph and gusts in the 60 mph range.

The winds were so strong even the Mayor of Toldeo could not make it out to the performance. Proving that the Marching Tigers are the toughest breed of performers there are, they managed to pull out a great performance despite the weather conditions.

The next day, Madrid proved to be a much easier performance in the “Cabalgata de Reyes Magos” or “Cavalcade of Magi”, an annual parade of kings coaches celebrating the three kings who were believed to have made the pilgrimage to visit the infant Jesus Christ, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

There, the Marching Tigers performed to an audience of more than 2 million parade goers and were broadcast live on the Spanish public broadcaster for the whole country to see.

This is not the first time the Marching Tigers have traveled abroad to perform. They are also known as “Hollywood’s Band” and have played the London New Year’s Parade in 2005 and 2011, however this is the first time they have decided to extend their trip and make a European tour out of it.

The band has been all over Europe in the past and has traveled to countries as far east as Japan and Australia.

“I love the different cultures,” said Ashley Korengold, a first year clarinet player, “I think we all wish we can go back again.”

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