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Even for those non-football fans, it is hard not to get caught up in the area high school's season this year. There is something unique about high school football that brings a community together and makes us all stand up and cheer for our hometown boys who headed down to the state championship.

But there is another part of high school football that we all love and sometimes forget to recognize for its integral part of the game—-the marching band. This year, Homestead's marching band, the Spartan Alliance Band stands 290 members strong, reaching from one 20-yard line to the other 20-yard line.

Moms, dads, friends and neighbors aren't the only ones who think that the Spartan Alliance Marching Band is impressive. The Marching Spartan's recently earned the invitation to strut their stuff in the 2003 Tournament of Roses Parade, in Pasadena, California on New Years' Day, January 1st, 2003.

The marching students started their six-day trip on Saturday, December 28, 2002. "This will be the band's first-ever march in the event," stated Homestead's student reporter, David Studinski. David provided a daily log of the trip on a special website that he had created for this occasion (above is a portion of the New Years Day log). The website, www.wcyt.org/spartana kept moms, dads, friends and neighbors well informed as the band marched on. Student photographer, Will Vragovic also updated the site via his expert digital photo skills and the photos above are just a sample.

The Spartan Alliance Marching Band worked extremely hard to make what they do look easy. Every week starting in July the band members practiced for at least 4 hours everyday. Then when school started, practice was twice a week after school during the months of August and through October. Competitions were every weekend.

"It is not just marching anymore—it is performing!" stated veteran Band Director Steve Barber. And that's just what the Homestead Spartan Alliance Band did on New Years Day. The Tournament of Roses Parade has come and gone but not without the presence of the Homestead Spartan Alliance Marching Band. The band members returned on Friday, January 3rd, 2003.


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