By Dawn Hatfield
PASADENA, Calif. — Heather Marsh-Myers, band director for the Arcanum-Butler Local School District, joined fellow directors from across the country on Jan. 1 in the 133rd Rose Parade presented by Honda. For millions of people around the world, the Rose Parade represents an iconic New Year’s Day tradition as it travels more than 5 miles down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California.
Heather Marsh-Myers is currently in her sixth year as band director of the Arcanum-Butler Local School District. During her tenure at Arcanum, the band has excelled, receiving multiple state superior ratings in both marching and concert bands. Marsh-Myers, 2021 Arcanum-Butler school district’s Teacher of the Year, is actively involved in the music community, both locally and with the Ohio Music Education Association.
The 2022 Rose Parade theme, “Dream. Believe. Achieve,” was evident as Marsh-Myers spoke of this once-in-a-lifetime journey. “I had an amazing trip and a wonderful experience,” began Marsh-Myers. “Being able to gather with 270 of my colleagues from across the country was both inspiring and wonderful. The respect I felt for music education on Jan. 1 was incredible. I love this profession; I believe in the power of what we do and what we teach.”
According to TournamentOfRoses.com, the Rose Parade’s musical legacy dates back to 1891 when the Monrovia California City Band joined the procession of flower-covered pony carts in the second Tournament of Roses Parade. Since then, hundreds of thousands of musicians from all over the world have made the famous march through Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The Rose Parade has welcomed high schools, colleges and universities, and military bands.
The earliest Tournament of Roses welcomed 3,000 spectators to its parade filled with beautiful horse-drawn, flower-covered carriages. More than 130 years after that parade, Marsh-Myers’s marching experience was profound. “We marched past over a million people who were there live to watch the parade, and the support from the crowds was overwhelming,” recalled Marsh-Myers. “It made me so happy to see the excitement that surrounded our participation. We were the first group to ever have a float and band unit together — and it turned out to be such a cool experience,” she said.
Today, the parade floats are a marvel of state of the art technology, all tucked away beneath flowers and other all-natural materials. A custom-designed animated float led the 270-strong “marching band of band directors,” which was sponsored by the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio. The incredible band directors’ parade project boasted the theme, “We teach music. We teach life.”
Following the parade, the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Utah Utes in a 48-45 Rose Bowl victory. “I was also able to go to the game and see Ohio State play in the Rose Bowl, and it was so cool to witness!” Marsh-Myers concluded. “This event truly made me feel recognized and appreciated for being a music educator.”
Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.