ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Albertville High School’s Aggie Band is returning to the Rose Parade in 2024. The band previously made appearances in the parade in 2011 and 2018.

Rising 9th-grade band members and current members received a visit Tuesday from the Tournament of Roses president and his wife.

“Most young children, which I spoke to 8th graders this morning and the seniors who already helped this program get out there, have never come out on a trip like this. They’ve not gone across The Rockies, they’ve not been on a jet, they haven’t seen the Pacific Ocean or an ocean period,” Tournament of Roses President Alex Aghajanian told News 19.

The 2024 invitation is the first major parade invitation for the high school’s current band director. He says for most directors, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“The biggest word that always comes to mind: humbled. I’m humbled that this band is able to provide these opportunities for these students. They’re so gracious to be able to be a part of it, and a lot of them don’t understand really what they’re about to be in for,” AHS Band Director Dr. Taylor Cash told News 19.

For millions of people around the world, the Rose Parade is an iconic New Year’s Day tradition. While the parade is 251 days away, members of the marching band say they’re excited.

“I’m used to performing in front of people, but that many people… It’s kind of scary. But I am excited, and I feel like in the moment, I won’t be nervous because of what I’m experiencing,” 11th grader Michele Cerrillo told News 19.

The theme for the 2024 parade is “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.” Aghajanian says the theme for this year’s parade brings us together through music. He adds that in a world of different cultures, beliefs, hopes, and dreams…on language unites us all – music.

A ninth-grade band member, Calli Camp, described how the band plans to prepare and practice before the big moment, “For color guard, we’re going to start the prep during our camp at the end of May. We’re going to start learning our parade routine and I’m super excited about that because then I’ll have it just engraved into my brain by the time we go in January.”

The marching band and the Albertville community have been raising money to cover the band’s expenses. One local winery even released a limited edition label to help support their efforts.

If you’d like to personally support the Aggie Band or read more about their fundraising efforts, click here.