The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Eagles participate in Rose Parade

By Ashley Sanchez | Production Chief 

Photos courtesy of Jorge De La Cruz, Melissa Romero and Kai Rongavilla Cruz

EAGLES IN BLOOM  Gabrielino High School students participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade as Tournament Ambassadors (wearing red) and parade route ushers (wearing white), while music teacher Melissa Romero performed in the Band Directors Marching Band.

   Following its cancellation last year, the Tournament of Roses Parade bloomed once again with help from the Gabrielino High School community. Band director Melissa Romero performed in the event as a member of the Band Directors Marching Band, while students acted as ambassadors and event volunteers along the five and a half-mile route.

   “This is actually the fourth time that I have been in the Rose Parade,” stated Romero. “I marched with the PCC Tournament of Roses Honor Band in 2001 and 2003. I also participated in 2006 as a woodwind coach for the Pasadena USD All-Star Band.” 

   Romero added, “[2006] was really cool because my younger brother was a part of the band, too, so he and I got to march together.”

    Organized by the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, the Band Directors Marching Band consisted of “directors from all 50 states, Mexico, and even a couple from the U.S. who teach in Germany and India,” explained Romero. 

  “It was fun to talk about what teaching music is like in other places outside of California,” Romero continued. “And also to talk with the directors who were all ages. The oldest marcher was 74 [years old]!”

  Gabrielino’s Rose Parade Ambassadors included seniors Emily Casciani, Jorge De La Cruz, Kai Cruz, Alexander Valandrano, and Vanessa Wang. They performed various tasks, from making goodie bags for VIP guests to handing out programs, checking tickets and directing people to the grandstands.   

  Student ambassadors were selected after submitting their brag sheets to the Tournament of Roses via the Career Center. After being selected, they attended different training sessions at the Tournament House in Pasadena, which they were given a tour of.

  Ambassadors learned the history of the parade, the different committees they would be participating in, and what their duties would be.

 “The Tournament provided many different services for each of the events leading up to the parade,” explained Wang. “I volunteered at EquestFest, which is an event where all the participating equestrian sports put on a show and introduce their backgrounds.

   Wang also helped give tours to people coming from all over the country to see the floats.

   The student ambassadors program is run by the Tournament of Roses, and it gives high school students in the San Gabriel Valley a chance to participate in the parade and its accompanying festivities. 

   Many Gabrielino students also volunteered as ushers, including Yen Yi Chen, Alexis Do, Andrew Do, Cassidy Do, Emilia Esseln, Eden Gomez, Evan Ho, Eileen Ho, Dylan Liu, Jeff Liu, Alexis Lopez-Mayoral, Amy Manzano, Wendy Mo, Jacob Pena, Josh and Sydney Soohoo, Mandy Tan, Juile Tran, Evanna Wong, and Sunny Wong. Class of 2021 alum Holden Flanders also volunteered. 

   “The ushers were stationed at different parts of the [route], stated senior Sydney Soohoo, adding that her “favorite part of the Rose Parade was getting to see all of the bands that performed, [especially] Ms. Romero.”

    Senior Evan Ho, Gabrielino Marching Regiment co-section leader, also acted as an usher for the parade. For every person that volunteered for the service, GEMR earned funds that would go towards future events and performances. 

  “My position at the Rose Parade was to be a grandstand usher,” stated Ho. “[This] entailed leading people to their seats, helping mediate disputes or any disagreements, and making sure that the people in [the seats] enjoyed the parade in an orderly fashion.” 

   Volunteers arrived at the Tournament House at four a.m. on New Year’s day to prepare for the event. 

   “Although it was fun, it was extremely cold. My toes were frozen,” stated Esseln, junior. 

   Esseln continued, “My favorite part of the rose parade was being able to spend time with my friends that are also in band – especially my color guard co-captain Mandy Tan.”  

    Both Rose Parade ambassadors and volunteers were required to wear face masks and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate in the New Year’s day event.

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
Eagles participate in Rose Parade