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Rosemount High School band chosen for Rose Parade

There will be a little bit of Rosemount in the 2014 Rose Parade.

The Rosemount High School marching band learned Thursday it has been chosen to perform in the 125th annual Tournament of Roses Parade Jan. 1 in Pasadena. The band submitted a video application last spring.

The Tournament of Roses parade draws an estimated U.S. audience of 47 million people and is seen by more than 300 million people in more than 220 countries. About 700,000 spectators view the parade in person.

Rosemount band directors knew about the invitation a month ago but waited until the Oct. 25 marching band banquet to inform band members.

"The kids were overwhelmed," band director Steve Olsen said.

Also included is the Tournament of Roses Bandfest, a marching band field show competition involving only the marching bands selected for the Rose Parade.

The Irish band is no stranger to high-profile events. The band recently finished sixth in a Bands of America regional competition in St. Louis. But they've never seen anything quite like this.

"This is the biggest event possible for a marching band," Olsen said. "This is huge. They tell us they select, every year, 12 high school marching bands from throughout the world."

The band has 14 months to prepare for the trip to Pasadena. Olsen said band members will have to do some additional physical conditioning work to make sure they're in shape for a 5 1/2-mile route that will take more than two hours to complete.

The band will also have to extend a competition season that typically ends in October.

The RHS band is currently putting together fundraisers to pay for the trip.