Wisconsin high school marching band has its own big day at the Rose Bowl

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LOS ANGELES, CA (WMTV) -- The Badgers get one more day of prep before the team starts the New Year with a big performance at the Rose Bowl. But on Tuesday night, there's another Wisconsin team preparing for its own New Year’s Day spotlight.

The Greendale High School Marching Band (Source: WMTV)

The Greendale, Wis. High School Marching Band, the 15 straight state champs, will march in the Tournament of Rose’s parade on Wednesday. And you could say they're fired up to do just that especially in Pasadena, CA.

“We act like a family. That's what it is we stick together and have each other's back,” says Akayla Raasch, the Milwaukee area band’s sophomore color guard.

“We were practicing the parade in 30-degree weather. People's hands were cracking from the cold. It's 60 here. It's beautiful,” says Brady Tharb, a junior drum major.

“The Badgers being here was icing on the cake,” says Tom Reifenberg, the director of bands. “We found out 14 months ago that we were chosen to be here. So it's 14 months of planning, preparation, fund-raising, and I don't think it hit anybody, staff, students, parents, until we get out here.”

Now that they are here, they haven't forgotten about where they are from and who they are representing. And where they are from hasn't forgotten about them either.

“All of Greendale is cheering for us,” says Tharb, the drum major. “Greendale is like a very small bubble, but for us, to do something as grand as this, we can put Greendale on the map outside of Wisconsin."

“It means a lot, it's a big thing people have told me I’m probably not going to see anyone else who has marched in the parade and to do something incredible as this,” says color guard Raasch.

Incredible is a great word for this family, but it's another word that got them here to smell the roses.

“Dedication. The dedication to excellence, the commitment. I always tell people, anybody can do what we do,” Reifenberg says. “Every school has high school kids, our kids are high school kids, but our job as staff is to put them in a position to succeed. Give them music and the vehicle to give them success. But the kids put in the time. If they don't put in the time, they're not going to be as successful as they are.”

NBC15 Sports Director Mike Jacques is also a proud Greendale High School alumni, and he couldn't be more proud of the panthers.


(Source: WMTV)
(Source: WMTV)
(Source: WMTV)