MPLT prepares for performance in the Rose Bowl Parade

On Jan. 2, 2017, 21 bands from around the United States will be performing in the Rose Bowl Parade, and the Marching Pride of Lawrence Township is one of those few selected to perform. As a drum major for Marching Pride, senior Branden Haynie plays a key role in preparing for the performance.

“I stand on a podium and conduct the band while they play their show,” Haynie said. “I help run the rehearsals, and I’m also there to set up before and take down all the stuff afterwards.”

Aside from helping direct the performers during rehearsals, Haynie also helps coordinate certain activities for Marching Pride to raise funds for the trip.

“When we have fundraisers, I play a key role in organizing all of that,” Haynie said.

The Marching Band will be carrying out a number of fundraisers over the year to pay for the trip in January, as band director Tom Wallis has been working to ensure that enough money will be raised to pay for the trip.

“We have a meeting once a month with parents who are heading up various committees within that, we have a financial committee, a PR committee, and an events committee. We all get together once a month to meet, and we’ve been having meetings since we found out [we’d been selected]. It’s been a constant push since then,” Wallis said.

Wallis asserts that the performance at the parade will not be any more difficult than the standard Marching Pride performances.

““It’s the same amount of work they’ve had to do before, the only difference we have an additional parade tune for the Lawrence parade, normally we do one, but this year we do two. Those two will be the two we do for the Rose Bowl Parade. As far as the show is concerned, it’s the same competitive thing we do every year, the only difference is when we’re down there we’ll perform the show at Bandfest, where whatever band is performing will do what their show is in exhibition format. It’s really no different than what we normally do, it’s been the large fundraising effort that’s been the challenge,” Wallis said.

Wallis explains the Marching Pride will only be performing in the Rose Bowl Parade, and not during the game itself.

““The parade is the highlight of the whole thing. Contrary to popular belief, it’s just the parade and not the game [we’re performing in]. The Tournament of Roses is the big overall organization that does the parade, the game, all that stuff. The parade is what the band is doing, we’re not affiliated with the game at all,” Wallis said.

While in California, the Marching Pride will also be taking advantage of their time by various theme parks and sightseeing opportunities around Pasadena and Los Angeles.

“When we go to Pasadena, we’re of course going to march in the parade, and then I know we’re going to do a lot of fun things in California like going to Disneyland and all the cool attractions there,” Haynie said.

Haynie is excited to take part in such a major national event.

“It’s very, very exciting to know that we get to represent Lawrence Township to millions of people across America,” Haynie said.

A full itinerary of the trip can be found at, and the band is still seeking donations, which can be sent via texting “MPLT” to the number 72727.