West Harrison Band Performs in Rose Parade

West Harrison High Band Performs in First Rose Parade

(HARRISON COUNTY, MS) Unforgettable. Magical. Honored.  Those were just some of the words used by West Harrison High band members to describe their first time performing in the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.

The Pride of South Mississippi made history by representing the Harrison County School District, South Mississippi, and the state of Mississippi in this prestigious event. The last Mississippi band to perform on this international stage was 30 years ago.

“It was awesome!” said West Harrison Senior Jacob Raymond.


The band members have been practicing and preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime trip since summer of 2019.  All the long hours and hard work paid off.

WHHS Band Rose Parade

West Harrison Junior Rachel Weaver said:  “It was magical, walking down and seeing all the smiling faces of the kids and being able to wave and knowing we are making an impact on them.”

Flute/Piccolo player Alexia Manganti said, "Seeing all the people’s reactions when we came down and there were people that had signs that said: This is my 43rd Rose Parade. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy!’

WHHS Rose Parade Closeup

Over 32 million people from all over the world watched the Rose Parade on January 1, 2020.  Some band members admit it was exhausting at times as they marched five miles along the parade route, but they felt a lot of energy from the crowd.

WHHS Rose Parade Side

“Being able to do the entire thing, marching it, seeing all the people, and the whole experience overall was really nice,” said West Harrison Junior Kristopher Lanman.

They also felt a lot of pride knowing they performed their hearts out for their school, school district, and the state of Mississippi.

“It feels great to know we had such a great impact,” said Kristopher.

“It’s wonderful!” said Rachel.

For many band members at West Harrison, this was their second time performing on a big stage.  They traveled to New York City in 2017 to participate in another popular holiday tradition - the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Alexia said: “It’s such an honor to do Macy’s two years ago, but now this. It’s really an honor.”

"The experience our group had at the 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade was first-class all the way. Tournament President, Laura Farber and committee members all made us feel very welcome," said West Harrison High Band Director Timothy Garrett.

"The performance experience was unlike any other, and will be unforgettable. To be only the second band in Mississippi history to do both Macy's and the Tournament of Roses Parade, it makes our experience even more incredible. These are memories our students will cherish for a lifetime. We are very grateful to everyone involved who ensured our students, staff, and parents had an outstanding experience," Garrett said.

While in California, the band also took part in a band showcase and performed for the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House.

WHHS Rose Parade Stadium

You can watch the WLOX story here: https://www.wlox.com/2020/01/01/watch-live-west-harrison-high-band-performs-tournament-roses-parade/

You can watch the WXXV story here: https://www.wxxv25.com/2020/01/01/west-harrison-plays-rose-parade/

You can watch the WLOX story here: https://www.wlox.com/2020/01/07/west-harrison-marching-band-students-reflect-memorable-rose-parade/

You can watch the WXXV story here: https://www.wxxv25.com/2020/01/06/west-harrison-band-members-reflect-rose-parade/

You can watch the YouTube video of the WHHS Band performing at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAbQg5SNwpI

You can watch the YouTube video of the WHHS Band in the Rose Parade here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_-wWSkNp7s