Mira Mesa High School band heads to Pasadena - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mira Mesa High School band heads to Pasadena

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - After months of practicing music and getting in physical shape, members of the Mira Mesa High School marching band boarded buses Tuesday and headed to Pasadena, where they will perform in the 127th Rose Parade.

Called "Sapphire Sound," the band will also take part in the Pasadena City College Band Fest tonight and march in the Disneyland Holiday Parade Wednesday.

The 250-member ensemble will perform "Ode to Joy" and "America the Beautiful" repeatedly along the 5 1/2-mile route on New Year's morning.

"When you are in that parade and you see all those people cheering you on, it's amazing," Russ Sperling, director of the San Diego Unified School District's Visual and Performing Arts Department, told CBS8.

Mira Mesa will be the first band from the district to march in the Rose Parade since Patrick Henry High in 1983. The teens had to raise about $250,000 to make the trip.

"I have three nights in a hotel, I have to feed all of them -- 250 teenagers needing to eat is a lot of money right there," band director Jeanne Christensen told 10News. "We also needed uniforms."

Students in the band said practice sessions included running and push- ups to build the stamina needed to march more than two hours.

More than 700,000 people are expected to crowd the parade route, while millions more will watch from home on television beginning at 8 a.m., Pacific Time.

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