Frances Venable is looking for redemption.

Frances Venable is looking for redemption.

During the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Blue Springs High School senior said television cameras caught one member of the Golden Regiment Marching Band turn in a formation a single beat early. The experience is one she will never forget.

“Everyone saw it,” she said with a smile on her face. “We are excited to redeem ourselves from that mistake.”

The Blue Springs High School Golden Regiment Marching Band will be one of 19 marching bands in what is referred to as “the grand daddy of them all,” the 2009 Tournament of Roses Parade Thursday. The parade will be aired at 10 a.m. on NBC, Comcast Channel 8 and ABC, Comcast Channel 12 as well as HGTV and the Travel Channel. This year’s parade theme is Hats Off to Entertainment and the grand marshal is Cloris Leachman.

Selection for the parade began almost a year ago with representatives of the Tournament of Roses Parade watching various bands that have applied, previously applied or expressed interest in performing. A list of the top bands from throughout the United States then went to a selection committee, with fewer than 20 high school and collegiate bands being selected.

This is the second time in the last decade that Blue Springs High School has been invited to the Tournament of Roses Parade. The last was in 1999.

“The kids have all done outstanding during this preparation process,” said band director Tim Allshouse. “Our typical season ended weeks ago and with the pressure of finals, they have all come with great attitudes.”

To put even more pressure on staff and band members, less than two weeks after returning from Pasadena, Calif., the Golden Regiment will be going to Washington D.C. to perform in the inauguration parade for President-elect Barack Obama.

But as Allshouse and band members stressed, the focus now remains on the Tournament of Roses.

“This is very exciting and a huge opportunity for all of us,” said senior Brittany Evans. “It is a great honor to be able to represent not only the city of Blue Springs and our community, but our school as well. I am just excited for the experience of marching in the parade.”

In addition to the five and a half mile parade, the band will be performing in the Christmas Parade at Disneyland and be featured in  the 2008 field show in a Band Festival, with all of the Tournament of Roses bands. New Year’s Eve will be spent at Universal Studios and there will be a post-parade party aboard the Queen Mary.

“I am very happy with the band’s work ethic in getting ready for this parade,” Allshouse said. “But I don’t think some of them will really understand what it is like until they cross Colorado Boulevard and see all the TV cameras. Then they will really understand the magnitude of this parade.”

Senior Adris Veney said he is looking forward to the parade because it is something he has always wanted to do. He said he is filled with pride, just knowing that he will be with the Golden Regiment representing Missouri in California.

“This is a great honor simply because many people don’t get the chance to be in an event like this,” he said. “I think we need more practice, but once the parade starts, we will be ready.”