Eleri Burnett Harmonizes with New Band Mates in Annual Rose Parade


By Grace Burns, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Joined by band members from all over the globe, senior Eleri Burnett played the bells in the Rose Parade on January 1 in Pasadena, California.

Burnett, the sole participant from all of York County, was a part of the Cavalcade Tournament of Roses Honor Band, which she estimates was twice the size of Susquehannock’s marching band.

After shaking off some initial nerves, Burnett felt a definite sense of unity within the band.

“It was kind of daunting at first because I wasn’t used to being around that many people,” said Burnett. “But after a while, we all became like a family…”

A traditional New Year’s event that has taken place for over a century, The Rose Parade has been a classic celebration of a new year.  The parade was 7 miles long, and Burnett was joined by several other bands, floats and equestrians.  80,000 hours of work from all participators are put into the celebratory parade each year.

With four years of experience on the bells, Burnett auditioned for the Rose Parade last fall through a video she submitted after hearing about the opportunity at marching band championships.  By frequently practicing after school and asking her instructors and peers for ways to improve, Burnett diligently prepared for the parade.

Band director Christian Poole praises Burnett’s work ethic and recognizes her commitment to playing the bells.

“She is very dedicated and determined,” said Poole. “She will put as much time as necessary into her craft that she needs to reach her goals.”

Not only does Poole applaud Burnett on her devotion, but many of her band mates also commend her on her efforts.

Senior and fellow band member Sean Slattery admires her perseverance and determination that clearly paid off in her participation in the Rose Bowl.

“She has a really good attitude about rehearsals and individual practice,” said Slattery.  “She doesn’t get discouraged when things are hard; she tends to work through them.”

As the honor band will be a recurring group in a few years, Burnett would strongly recommend the event for her fellow members of the marching band.  The opportunity to engage in such a professional event as the Rose Parade and to establish lifelong friendships is one Burnett is so grateful to have experienced.