Brassy notes -- the notes associated with tubas and trumpets and the instruments that catch the gleam of sunlight whenever they're played or displayed outdoors -- are much associated with the holiday season, regardless of where you are.
But in most places, brassy sounds are heard on the radio, or the hi-fi, but not necessarily in-person come the holidays. That's not the case in Pasadena, a city that has a merry monopoly on brassy trumpeting of the live and close-up variety just ahead of New Year's Day.
Bandfest is a stirringly percussive Crown City tradition, the ultimate way to enjoy the bands marching in the Rose Parade before the Rose Parade. (Because, of course, marching bands tend to march, hence the term "marching band," meaning if you're parade-side the tunemakers tend to leave your view in a matter of minutes.)
What to do, where to go and what to see
The marching bands of the Rose Parade will stay before the audiences who make for Pasadena City College on Monday, Dec. 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 30, so you'll get the full experience of a full song.
REMO is presenting the two-day happening, Sharp Seating has your $15 ticket, and the bands on the roster? Legacy High School Marching Band from Bloomfield, Colorado, Maui High School "Saber" Marching Band of Kahulhi, Hawaii, and Temple City High School of Temple City will raise those trumpets to the sky.
And, of course, the Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band will be in the house.
Will every performer on the field be outfitted in their handsome, crisp-lined uniforms? You bet -- it is a happening flush with pomp and circumstance, both. Will the PCC Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Herald Trumpets kick off both days with the aforementioned pomp and circumstance?
It's tradition, as so many things are come New Year's Week around the rosiest of cities. If the music of the 126-year-old parade is your favorite part, but you need more, and you need to see it live, be at PCC for two days of brassy, brassy majesty.