Competition for the privilege of marching the 124th Tournament of Roses Parade is stiff.
More than 80 bands applied this year and only 15 were invited to participate. Utah's own Davis High School Marching Band is among those who will be part of the prestigious event in Pasadena, Calif. in 2013.
The parade usually draws a live crowd of 100 million live viewers and millions more on television.
"Right now what it means to the students is they're going to march in the most famous parade in the world," says band director Steve Hendricks. "Every year, it will become more important to them, and many of them will look back at this as a major highlight of their high school career."
Hendricks is speaking from personal experience because his children marched in the parade with Davis High School a decade earlier. It's rare that a school gets invited to participate a second time, but the band of 290 students knows how to impress.
"One of the things [the application committee] looks for is entertainment value," Hendricks said.
And Davis High has plenty. The band plays fun, catchy songs. Their line-up for the parade includes R&B favorite "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and '80s hit "Don't Stop Believing."
They'll be playing five songs total along the 5.5 mile route, and all the tunes relate to the parade's theme: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Hendricks chose the songs after reviewing the Dr. Seuss classic. "The message of the book is to believe in yourself, and know that you can go places if you have faith in your abilities," he says.
The Davis High School Marching Band is certainly going places. They're not only recognized as one of the top bands in the nation but Davis High School is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country.
To learn more or to donate money to help the band attend the Rose Parade visit their website here.