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21 local students' work to bloom in Tournament of Roses Parade

| Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Twenty-one students from seven Western Pennsylvania school districts will march with the Bands of America Honor Band in the widely televised Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.

Students selected for the Honor Band after an application process represent 176 high schools across the country. The band includes color guard performers and dancers.

Locally, students from Franklin Regional Middle School, Kiski Area High School, Norwin High School, Penn-Trafford High School, Blackhawk High School, Mars Area High School and Trinity Area High School were selected.

Students are in California preparing for their performance on the 5-mile parade route.

Trombonist Matt Krachanko of Allegheny Township will represent Kiski Area's band.

His whole family plans to watch the parade in grandstand seats, said Krachanko's father, Allen.

“Of course, we're very proud of him just for getting in,” Allen Krachanko said. “It's one of those things that he will always look back on his whole life.”

His son traveled to California on Thursday for a jam-packed scheduled of rehearsals. Students will also march in Disneyland, Krachanko said.

“He's absolutely thrilled. ... He's in his element,” Krachanko said.

Penn-Trafford color guard member Rachel Read will perform in the parade, along with three other Penn-Trafford students. Her older brother, Brian, marched in the Tournament of Roses parade in 2005, and “she's watched Bands of America bands forever,” said her father, Bob.

For two months before the parade, an instructor recorded color guard routines and posted the videos on YouTube to aid students preparing for the trek, said Bob Read of Harrison City.

The music takes a Disney theme, and students will perform Katy Perry's “Firework” as well as “Stars and Stripes,” he said.

Eleven Norwin band students will perform, including Johnny Murray, who plays alto saxophone, and Josey Murray, who performs in the color guard.

“It's been incredible for our whole family,” said their mother, Patty Jo Murray of Irwin.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday and will last for two hours. Broadcast partners for the parade include ABC, NBC, the Hallmark Channel and HGTV.

The Bands of America Honor Band was first selected to participate in 2005 and was again selected in 2009 and this year.

The Tournament of Roses Foundation does not allow a band to march in the parade for two years in a row, according to Bands of America.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She canbe reached at 724-836-6646or rskena@tribweb.com.

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