The MIHS marching band beginning their march throughout the Tournament of Roses on Jan. 1. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

The MIHS marching band beginning their march throughout the Tournament of Roses on Jan. 1. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

MIHS band marches with Puerto Rican band in Tournament of Roses parade

MIHS band and BEG band march together in Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. for New Years.

The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) marching band marched alongside the Puerto Rican marching band, Banda Escolar de Guayanilla (BEG) in the Tournament of Roses Parade (Rose Parade) in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day.

In 2012, the MIHS band marched with BEG in the same New Year’s parade. The parade is considered America’s New Year celebration, and only invites about 20 bands from around the globe to perform.

The two bands were reunited upon learning they were selected to perform again in this year’s Rose Parade.

However, this year, many BEG band members feared they wouldn’t be able to attend the Rose Parade because of the devastation Hurricane Maria left in Puerto Rico in 2017.

For the members of BEG, many of their families had to make the decision whether to use their few resources to send their student to Pasadena or “put a roof over their house,” former MIHS student Paige Robertson said.

MIHS band teacher, Parker Bixby, and Robertson spearheaded a fundraising effort to ensure BEG students could attend the Rose Parade.

Through silent auctions and various fundraisers organized by the MIHS bands and band boosters they raised some $50,000 for the cause.

Jonuel N. Lopez Martinez, a member of BEG, said BEG wouldn’t have a chance to make it to the parade if it weren’t for the MIHS bands and other sponsors.

“We’re just so grateful for everything you’ve done for us. It shows us that there’s still good in this world and that music can break any barrier,” he said in a previous report.

The Mercer Island High School marching band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District Facebook page.

The Mercer Island High School marching band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District Facebook page.

The Mercer Island High School marching band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District Facebook page.

The Mercer Island High School marching band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island School District Facebook page.

MIHS marching band teacher, Parker Bixby, cheers as the band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

MIHS marching band teacher, Parker Bixby, cheers as the band marches in the Tournament of Roses parade. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

Jonuel N. Lopez Martinez, a member of the Banda Escolar de Guayanilla (BEG) marching band of Puerto Rico, marches alongside the MIHS marching band in the Tournament of Roses. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

Jonuel N. Lopez Martinez, a member of the Banda Escolar de Guayanilla (BEG) marching band of Puerto Rico, marches alongside the MIHS marching band in the Tournament of Roses. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

Jazzlyn Rowland, an MIHS senior drum major, marches in the Tournament of Roses parade. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

Jazzlyn Rowland, an MIHS senior drum major, marches in the Tournament of Roses parade. Photo courtesy of Unofficial_MIHSBand Instagram page.

Joint performance at Bandfest with the Puerto Rico band Banda Escolar de Guayanilla at the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30, 2018. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

Joint performance at Bandfest with the Puerto Rico band Banda Escolar de Guayanilla at the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30, 2018. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

From left, Spencer Klein, Kayla Mitchell and Brandon Hill are interviewed by KTLA about the band’s partnership with Banda Escolar de Guayanilla. MIHS raised more than $50,000 to support the Puerto Rico band’s trip to Pasadena after their island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

From left, Spencer Klein, Kayla Mitchell and Brandon Hill are interviewed by KTLA about the band’s partnership with Banda Escolar de Guayanilla. MIHS raised more than $50,000 to support the Puerto Rico band’s trip to Pasadena after their island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

The MIHS Band thanks their families in attendance following their performance at Bandfest on Dec. 30, 2018, prior to their Jan. 1 performance at the Rose Parade. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

The MIHS Band thanks their families in attendance following their performance at Bandfest on Dec. 30, 2018, prior to their Jan. 1 performance at the Rose Parade. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

Trombone section of the Mercer Island High School band marching in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

Trombone section of the Mercer Island High School band marching in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

Trumpet section during the Jan. 1 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

Trumpet section during the Jan. 1 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

MIHS Marching Band warming up at the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30 at Pasadena City College in California. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

MIHS Marching Band warming up at the Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Dec. 30 at Pasadena City College in California. Photo courtesy of Joseph Chen

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