Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. This year, we rang in the New Year with the Eastern time zone, so that we could leave at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time to attend the 119th Rose Parade. After fighting traffic in the car and fighting traffic by foot, we finally found our spot at the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd., just minutes before the U.S. Navy flyover.

As I watched the amazing bands round the corner, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my own experience there on Jan. 1, 1996.

The Northwestern Wildcats had not had a Rose Bowl birth since 1949, so it seemed like the entire university flew out to Pasadena to cheer us on. I remember marching toward the mountains on Colorado Blvd. and soaking in the view, the sun and the purple crowd.

Here are a few of my most memorable Rose Bowl moments:

• A 4 a.m. wakeup call on New Year’s day (and I thought 5 a.m. was early this year)
• The float in front of us breaking down—giving us needed rest—and strangers in the crowd offering us water
• Actor Charlton Heston shaking my hand backstage at a Northwestern concert and variety show
• Rehearsals in the dark
• A purple sunset (surely that meant Northwestern would win) and a dip in the ocean—which I would never dare to do now—on New Year’s Eve
• The crushing loss, then a voice in the crowd shouting out, “Northwestern may have lost the game, but it won halftime.”

So as I watched those bands make the turn, I know firsthand about the time, commitment and energy involved. I also know their love of every grueling minute— on the bus, on the six-mile march and on the field.

Musically Yours,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

P.S. Congratulations to Eddie Carden and Elizabeth Geli, Halftime Magazine interns and members of the USC Trojan Marching Band, who made their third straight trip to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.

About author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman is founder and chief executive officer of Muse Media, LLC, creator of books, magazines, and additional content highlighting performing arts and youth activities. Magazine assets include Halftime Magazine for marching arts participants and fans as well as Yamaha SupportED Magazine for K through 12 music educators. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Crain Communications and Imagination Publishing and a marketing manager at Chatsworth Products, Inc. Christine also worked for Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division. As a child, Christine learned five instruments, with flute being primary. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. Christine graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997 and earned an MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in 2007.

A photo of the University of North Georgia (UNG) marching band.

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