The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Student stars shine in Rose Parade

By Violet Wang | Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Liam Dowell
MARCHING ON Liam Dowell (right, front) plays trumpet in the PCC honor band at the Rose Parade.

   Gabrielino High School students joined the Tournament of Roses, or Rose Parade, on Jan. 2 in full force in both performance and volunteer assistance along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Students acted as Student Ambassadors in red and parade ushers in white, while senior Liam Dowell performed in the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band.

    Dowell joined the parade as part of the PCC Honor Band. He was chosen among over 500 high school students who auditioned to fill one of the 225 available spots.

   Dowell first auditioned for the Honor Band in Fall 2021 after hearing about it from Gabrielino Band Director Melissa Romero. This year, his audition of 20 memorized measures, a solo, a chromatic scale, and sight reading earned him a role in the band.

   “It was fun,” said Dowell. “The PCC trumpet section is almost as big as the entire Gab band.”

   Dowell continued, “It’s fun to play in such a large band after being used to playing in a small band. It was much easier to listen, I could breathe when I needed to. I had a ton of people to cover my part.”

   The PCC Honor Band is made up of mostly high school students, and “about one third were PCC students,” explained Dowell.

   Dowell warmed up with his fellow bandmates at around 4 to 5 a.m. At 9 a.m. they began to march along the five and a half-mile route.

   “I didn’t really pay attention to the floats,” Dowell stated. “I didn’t really pay attention to anything but the band. I just zoned out after a while.”

   Dowell felt less pressure performing than he thought he would, saying that “most mistakes that are obvious to us the audience wouldn’t notice. I just saw it as a chance to impress millions of people.”

   Dowell elaborates that although the experience was fun, there was one thing he did not enjoy.

   “The worst part was waiting in line to clean the white uniform pants with toothbrushes,” stated Dowell. “I hate waiting. I just really hate waiting.”

   The Gabrielino Student Ambassadors were seniors Ashlee Cruz, Josephine Garcia, Joanne Li, Sasha Sengelmann, Ashley Uenishi, and Uni Sky. They were chosen specifically by the Tournament of Roses after submitting applications through the College and Career Center.

   Student Ambassadors worked before the event to prepare. They were briefed on what they would be doing, learned Tournament history, and helped to set up floats.

   “I crushed peas onto one of the floats- you know the ‘Meet the Nouns’ one?” said Sengelmann.

   Student Ambassadors were also responsible for answering any questions attendees had about the event.

   “I had to explain what the ‘Meet the Nouns’ float was- a lot of old couples asked if it was the Lego float. I explained what NFTs are– Non-fungible Tokens– but most of them didn’t care,” Sengelmann elaborated.

   Seniors Malia Munsayac and Isaac Valencia, juniors Alexise Lopez-Mayoral, Isabella Ortiz, and Faith Villanueva, sophomores Rheanna Beltran, Sara Estrada, Samantha Haas, Alexandra Harris, Dylan Liu, and Kristy Peng, and freshmen Dennese Cruz, Preston Diaz, Owen Dowell, Isabella Lam, Nathan Perez, and Lex Sengelmann were parade ushers.

   Ushers had various responsibilities to ensure that the parade went smoothly for the audience.

   “I helped scan tickets and got to watch the entire Rose Parade for free,” said Liu.

   After 2021’s parade was canceled and 2022’s had pandemic restrictions, this year’s parade was the first to return completely to pre-pandemic form with students from Gabrielino. Although wearing a mask was not required, it was recommended.

Donate to The Tongva Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tongva Times

Activate Search
Student stars shine in Rose Parade