Homestead High band to perform Thursday for young patients on way to Rose Parade

Courtesy of Jim Zumsteg
The Homestead High School Mighty Mustang Marching Band rehearses Dec. 9 for its appearance at the Rose Parade in Pasadena Jan. 1. On the way to Pasadena, the band plans to perform at a children’s hospital.

The Homestead High School Mighty Mustang Marching Band will do more in Southern California than perform in the 2018 Rose Parade.

The band plans to leave for Pasadena Thursday and make a stop to entertain patients at Shriners for Children Medical Center.

In addition to playing some of its Rose Parade repertoire for the young patients, the band will deliver donations of coloring books and crayons. One of the coloring books, titled “Love,” was recently published by Homestead High senior Amanda Sun and is available on Amazon (

The band placed a collection box in the Homestead main office for donations, according to Terry Anderson, president of the Homestead High School Boosters.

“We asked the hospital what their child patients like, and they told us that the kids love to color,” Anderson said.

The Rose Parade Committee asked participating bands to perform for children or senior citizens in the community.

“Not all the bands said yes, but we did,” Anderson said.

The band’s 216 members will perform for more than 700,000 spectators in Pasadena starting 8 a.m. Monday, and a worldwide TV audience in excess of 60 million. The 129th Rose Parade’s broadcast partners include ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA, NBC and Univision.

The Mighty Mustangs were selected to appear at the parade after submitting a five-minute video featuring the band’s field performance and a few student leaders’ speeches. The video is posted on YouTube’s Homestead High School Music channel.

The 2018 Rose Parade theme is “Making a Difference,” which Anderson said is exactly what the band does for its members.

“Our band definitely makes a difference in the kids’ lives,” she said. “It’s a lot of hard work. They have to structure their lives so they can go to all the rehearsals and still do well in class.”

According to Anderson, band membership has benefits out of the gate.

“The band helps freshmen get familiar with the school before they start because we rehearse in the summer,” she said. “The kids really love having a group they can call their own.”

Drum major Joseph Cho said he will always remember the lessons “proper prior planning prevents perplexing problems” and “to be early is to be on time” from band teachers John Burn and Eric Weingartner.

Currently a senior with admission to Yale University, Cho said being part of the Homestead High marching band helped him grow not only as a musician, marcher and leader, but also as a person.

“I’ve learned to be accountable not just for myself, but for others – learned the value of responsibility, passion, community and, ultimately, purpose,” he said.

Cho added that he had the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance of being part of something greater than himself.

“The marching band made a difference in my life,” he said, “because it taught me that I could make a difference, whether it be in band or in my community, and for that, I am forever grateful.”

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