Tiffany Brucker, a freshman at UMass Amherst, was selected among hundreds of applicants across the nation to march and play tenor saxophone for the national Honor Band at the Rose Bowl parade on New Years Day. Brucker is the only representative from Connecticut that was selected and the only one from UMass Amherst to march for the group, she said. Music for All, a national music organization, selected her to be part of a 300 piece national ensemble that includes winds, percussion, a color guard and a dance team.
The Honor Band is directed by UMass’ own George N. Parks, director of the Minuteman Marching Band and founder of the acclaimed George N. Parks Drum Major Academy.
Being accepted to the position is a great honor, Brucker said.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “I’m very fortunate. Words cannot describe this national honor.”
For the Honor Band Brucker would have to memorize four or five pieces of music which last around two to three minutes a piece. She will have to march for over five miles during the parade — which may last three to four hours — that takes place before the Rose Bowl begins, Brucker said.
Brucker graduated Torrington High School this year and currently lives in New Hartford, but is still a “Torringtonian at heart,” she said. Brucker has been playing music since she was nine years old and currently plays four types of saxophone, drums, clarinet and bass clarinet. Apart from marching for the THS band for five years, she has played at the Warner Theater, the Berkshire League Regionals and the American School Band Directors Association Festival.
Brucker first heard she was accepted to march in the parade late last week.
“It was like an adrenaline rush,” she said.
Since then she has received an overwhelming response from people who have been congratulatory and supportive of her achievment, Brucker said.
In 2005, Minuteman Band member Libby Jones (a mellophone player from Marshfield, MA) performed with the BOA Honor Band.