ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One Northeast Alabama high school will once again be getting some recognition on a national stage.
The Albertville Aggie Band will be returning to the 135th Annual Rose Parade in 2024. This appearance will be the third for the Aggie Band, who previously made appearances in 2011 and 2018.
For Albertville High School Director of Bands Dr. Taylor Cash, this “once in a lifetime opportunity” is his third trip to the Parade; he student taught at Albertville High while attending Jacksonville State University, and has been at AHS ever since. Cash joined the Aggie Band on the trips to the parade in ’11 and ’18 as an assistant band director. The invite to the Parade is his first major invite since being named director of bands in 2020.
I think it’s a much bigger event than people here are accustomed to. We’ve done it three times, so it feels normal. Some band directors go their entire careers and never get the opportunity to do it.Albertville High School Director of Bands Dr. Taylor Cash
The 5.5-mile parade, held in Pasadena, California, precedes the Rose Bowl college football game, was viewed by an estimated 800,000 spectators in-person, along with millions of television viewers. Conditioning for the march will start early for the Aggie Band members.
The majority of bands across the nation do not get to experience this, so this is a great honor. Not only will they perform in front of millions of people, but they will also get to see new sights and experience new places. It’s something they will never forget.Albertville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Boyd K. English
To apply, Cash and his team created a portfolio with pictures, videos, a band resume and history, a community history, and more information. The application process started in January, with a deadline for May. After finishing the application and waiting, Cash had a Zoom call with the Tournament of Roses Association and others on the music selection committee and was told the exciting news.
Cash made the announcement to the community during the Aggie Band Alumni Night last Friday, and he said it was the alumni who walked that allowed the current students to run.
Our motto has always been ‘Continuing the Tradition’. It was cool to put that stamp at the end of it that we are continuing this tradition. It’s about continuing a legacy that’s been passed on. Each student and director have placed some brick in the foundation of the Aggie Band. Had the alumni band members not done what they did, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have now. They did their part, and now they are supporting us doing our part. That’s what makes the band what it is. That’s how we are able to do what we do.Albertville High School Director of Bands Dr. Taylor Cash
More than 100 band alumni were welcomed back to McCord Field, including the six band directors from 1970 to the present.
The 2022 band includes 66 seniors, with plenty of future Aggies already playing at Albertville Middle School – 123 eighth graders and 170 seventh graders. In addition, a new band hall is expected to open in fall 2023.
Of course, this trip is going to require some extensive fundraising to help offset the cost for the students. In 2018, the band raised more than $1 million. Cash expects this trip to be even more expensive between the rising costs of buses, flights, and fuel…but also because there are more students in the band than there were in 2018.
He’s hopeful the community will help as they always have.
What sets Albertville apart is the tradition and the community. The community just rallies around the band, and they respect the tradition. Lots of them were in the band themselves. You can call up local businesses, and they’re always ready to help,” said Cash. “Combine the community, the administration, the businesses and the kids, and it’s a perfect formula for success. It’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere, and we recognize and appreciate that.Albertville High School Director of Bands Dr. Taylor Cash