Dan Abendschein, via a kind reader’s email:
Their journey to the 121st Rose Parade is a marvel even to the Ohio State School for the Blind’s marching band leader Dan Kelly.
“It’s very exciting,” said Kelly, who also teaches technology at the school. “It started small, but it’s grown and snowballed – and here we are.”
Back in 1998, the Ohio State School for the Blind’s music program involved only vocal music. Now, just over a decade later, the school’s marching band will perform in one of the world’s top showcases for marching bands – the first blind band ever to march in the Rose Parade.
The band was one of 19 that performed at the two-day Bandfest, which ended Wednesday at Pasadena City College’s football field. It featured all of the marching bands that will appear in the Rose Parade.
But the event also gives the bands a chance to showcase their performance abilities in a larger arena, performing formations they will not be able to do at the parade.
Happy New Year!