Rain or shine, Utah teens excited to march for a national audience in Rose Parade

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (ABC4) – There’s been a bit of precipitation in Southern California over the last couple of days, but three young musicians from Utah won’t let it spoil their fun.

Megan Rogers, Anna Seamons, and Dallen DiCesaris are set to march in the Rose Parade this weekend as members of the Bands of America Honor Band. For members of a marching band, performing in the iconic New Year’s Day festival is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s their Super Bowl, so to speak.

“Especially for high school kids, it’s a very, very cool thing that we get to do, a very cool experience,” DiCesaris, a trombone player from Park City High School tells ABC4.com. “And I’m very grateful that I get to do it.”

Even if it rains on their parade literally, it’s not going to rain on their parade in the sense of the figurative expression.

Rogers has been waiting over a year to participate in the event, but was forced to wait a year due to the pandemic. Although a spike in COVID cases has threatened or even canceled several college football games and other major gatherings around the country over the last week or so, the latest word from officials is that the Rose Parade and Game are still on for this weekend.

If the weather can’t deter the parade, the virus won’t either, as it seems at the present moment.

Finally getting to be a part of the parade has been a long time coming for Rogers. Her mother, Sherri, grew up just outside of Pasadena and made attending the festivities a yearly tradition. In fact, in high school, Sherri even got the chance to march in the parade herself. Later on, as a family living in Utah, the Rogers gathered around the television each year to enjoy the floats and bands that make up the annual party and celebration of one of the biggest college football games of the year. Her sister even marched in the parade in 2017, something that Rogers enjoyed and longed to do herself.

“It was amazing to just be there in person and see their band, marching along with all the other bands. It was so cool,” she recalls of her sister’s trip. “And so when I saw that it was happening again, and I had the opportunity to be a part of it, I called my mom and I was like, ‘I’m doing it,’ and I just jumped on the opportunity.”

Of the 320-member ensemble, Rogers, Seamons, and DiCesaris are the lone Utahns in the group. As part of preparing to play with a massive team, comprised of youngsters from all over the country, they’ve been making friends via a gigantic group chat for over a year or so.

While getting to know some new friends on a text thread has been fun and sometimes overwhelming – the main chat usually gets around 500 new messages a day – Seamons, who attends American Fork and will be playing the mellophone in the parade, says she has mostly been looking forward to getting to know her bandmates in person, especially during a group outing to Disneyland.

“I don’t really love just texting people. I kind of like seeing people in person, I’m really social once I actually get to be around them, at least that’s how I am,” she says.

Although they’re going to march in a time-honored ceremony for a nationally-televised football game, which by the way, the University of Utah is playing in, not all of the local kids are pulling for the hometown team in the contest.

Rogers, a freshman at BYU (she was admitted into the Honor Band as a high school senior last year before the pandemic shut down the fun), is planning on rooting for the scarlet and gray of Ohio State, as opposed to Utah’s crimson red and white.

“I am always rooting against Utah,” she admits with a laugh, loyal to her BYU fanhood. “That’s so terrible to say but no matter who they’re playing, I don’t care, I just want them to lose. I do not want them to win the Rose Bowl. So we’ll see how that goes.”

The Rose Parade will be broadcast from Southern California beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Rose Bowl Game between No. 11 Utah and No. 6 Ohio State will kick off later that afternoon at 3 p.m. Both events can be seen on ABC4.

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