Kamehameha Schools Band & Color Guard to Perform at 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade

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KSK Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard, Jan. 16, 2019. Courtesy photo

KSK Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard, Jan. 16, 2019. Courtesy photo

For an unprecedented fifth time in its prestigious history, the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard from O‘ahu will participate in the 131st Tournament of Roses Parade slated for Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, California, it was announced on Jan. 16, 2019.

Current members of the band and color guard, as well as their families and support staff, found out about KS Kapālama’s selection at a meeting held Wednesday night at the campus’ Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani Auditorium. Haumāna and their ‘ohana were given the news by Band Director Matthew Urabe and watched a video featuring a personalized message from 2020 Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber.

KSK Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard, Jan. 16, 2019. Courtesy photo

“It is a tremendous honor for a high school to perform at the prestigious Rose Parade, and with next year’s unprecedented return for the fifth time by our world-class program, it marks an incredible and historic accomplishment,” said KS Kapālama Performing Arts Department Head Alika Young, a 2003 KS Kapālama graduate. “This is amazing news for our haumāna, our Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana, and the state of Hawai‘i!”


KS Kapālama was one of 20 bands from across the world selected to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Volunteer members from the Tournament of Roses select participants based on a variety of criteria including musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. Urabe noted that upwards of 200 students are expected to participate in the trip.

KSK Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard, Jan. 16, 2019. Courtesy photo

The Rose Parade travels 5.5 miles down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles, starting at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (6 a.m. Hawai‘i Time) on New Year’s Day, 2020.

For some students, the upcoming performance will mark their second trip to the Rose Parade as some participated in the 2019 edition of the event as part of the Hawai‘i All-State Band.


“Bands have to wait a minimum of five years before applying again, so it is rare that a student has the opportunity to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade more than once within one’s high school career,” said Urabe, a 1999 KS Kapālama graduate and former member of the Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard. “For those students who participated in this past New Year’s Day festivities with the Hawai‘i All-State Marching Band, this upcoming opportunity will provide another unique and memorable experience. It is a great an honor to be selected for our fifth appearance. This is something that will be truly historic for our haumāna and the communities we represent.”

Over the past three decades, the KS Kapālama Warrior Marching Band & Color Guard has performed around the globe, including visits to Europe (England, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Monaco) as well as China and Japan. In addition to the multiple Tournament of Roses Parade appearances, the program has also performed at President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Parade (1993), the Sugar Bowl (1997 and 2004), President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Parade (2013) and is still the only band from Hawai‘i to appear in National Football League halftime performances for both the San Francisco 49ers (1993) and Baltimore Ravens (1996).

More information about the parade, including a complete list of participants, will be available online later this year.

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