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East-West Fusion All-Star Band

San Jose, California

San Jose, California

UNIFORM: The uniforms worn by the East-West Fusion Band have been specially designed for the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade. Award-winning designer and acclaimed artist, Michael Gray, sought to design a uniform that creates and enhances the motion of the marching unit as they march down Colorado Boulevard. With three stripes of alternating white, blue or red, and white across the front of the coat, he enhanced the beauty of movement by adding metallic and mirrors to add sparkle and flash to the band members as they move. Valley Christian and Beijing No. 57 are wearing the same uniform design, yet distinctive in color, celebrating the fusion of two diverse cultures comoing together as one. Exceptional care and creativity has been taken to design auxiliary unit costumes, flags, and a banner that completes and compliments the overall look of the East-West Fusion Band.

BAND DESCRIPTION: 2 drum majors, 55 brass, 25 percussion, 12 dancers, 75 woodwinds, 3 banner carriers, 35 color guard.

In additional to a full spectrum of musical performance groups in band, orchestra, strings, voice, and jazz, Valley Christian enjoys the distinction of being the first All-Steinway high school in California. Valley Christian also has a music-enrichment partnership with the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, giving high school students the opportunity to take on-line courses and earn a Specialist Certificate in their chosen musical discipline. Beijing No.57 High School Band has a long-standing tradition of excellence in music education. The program at No.57 High School provides a comprehensive musical experience for its students with special emphasis placed in the areas of concert, solo and ensemble performance.

In April, 2012, the Valley Christian Marching Band traveled to Beijing, China, to meet and begin rehearsals with Beijing No. 57 School, in preparation for the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade. Tournament of Roses President Sally Bixby traveled with the Valley Christian group, meeting the Chinese school administrators, speaking to both groups of students, and observing rehearsals. The Valley Christian band has previously traveled to Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia on performance tours.

Valley Christian is known in the Western Band Association as a perennial contender and favorite for top awards in field show competition. In the fall of 2011 three Sweepstakes trophies were added to their ever expanding collection. Parade experience by the Valley Christian Marching Band and Color Guard includes the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade, San Jose Holiday Parade, Santa Clara County Veterans Day Parade, Santa Cruz Band Review, and the Maytime Band Review, plus numerous appearances in parades in Disneyland and Disneyworld. An award list for Valley Christian Marching Band and Color Guard includes Western Band Association Marching Band Class Champions in 1995, 1996, 2003, 2004 and 2009. The bands at Beijing No. 57 High-School consistently earn superior ratings at concert, jazz, and marching assessments. They have performed at prestigious state and national festivals and conferences including Beijing Olympics and Expo 2010 Shanghai. The band has also embodied a passion for establishing international relationships through their performances abroad in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.

Valley Christian Schools (VCS) was founded in 1956 in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. A new junior high/high school facility was built and opened in 1999, with high school enrollment over 1,200 students. Valley Christian Schools is a private, K-12 Christian school system which provides rigorous college preparatory programs in a nurturing environment. Valley Christian challenges youth to aspire toward lives of character, service and influence while pursuing their individual Quests for Excellence in Academic Achievement, Artistic Beauty, and Athletic Distinction. Unique to the high school experience nationwide is Valley Christian’s Conservatory of the Arts, a program pioneered in 2006, to discover and develop the extraordinary God-given talent of young artists.

Students have the opportunity to major or minor in one or more creative field, including music, dance, theatre, technical theatre, visual arts, or cinematic arts. High quality theatre productions, concerts in premiere Silicon Valley performance venues, a private lesson studio program, and international trips are just some of the benefits to the Conservatory students. A 50,000 square foot building was opened in Fall 2011, to serve the over 1,000 Valley Christian performing and visual artists. Valley Christian is the first high school to develop a joint project with NASA to place student-designed experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS program is in its third year, with students now mentoring teams from three other California high schools to participate in the Space Station experiments.

Students also participate in robotics, nanotechnology and science/ math competition programs. Valley Christian was recently honored by being named the Intel School of Distinction – Star Innovator 2011 and the Intel School of Distinction – Mathematics Excellence 2011. The Intel Press Release states: “Intel sponsors the School of Distinction awards to honor schools for implementing innovative math and science programs...some of the most successful educational programs in the country. Schools recognized for this award have demonstrated excellence in math and science education and their ability to promote students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills, areas called 21st Century Skills by educators.” With a history of more than a century, Beijing No. 57 high school is characterized by excellence in the aspect of teaching, information technology and international exchange, with 95% of their graduates going on to higher education.

It is recognized as a model school in China and know for it’s friendly learning atmosphere, strict management high teaching quality and salient teaching characteristics. Students from the school have won many awards in academics, athletics and the arts. Two gold medals were won by it’s students at the 8th International Robot Competition at Atlanta, Georgia, also championships were awarded in gymnastics and archery. The marching band program at Beijing No. 57 was founded in 2000, under the skillful direction of Xianowhen Cai, and is now recognized as one of the finest and most comprehensive high school band programs in the Beijing. Beijing No.57 High-School Band has a long-standing tradition of excellence in music education. Since 2001, the Beijing No.57 High School Band has participated actively in the various competitions and performances, such as Universiade Opening Ceremony, Asia Marching Band Association, Beijing Olympics and Expo 2010 Shanghai. This band consistently earns superior ratings in both marching and concert band competitions and has received the gold prize from 2009 to 2011 in the National Band Show competition. The school motto of Beijing No. 57 is “face to modernization, face to the whole world and face to the future.”

PERSONNEL: Troy Gunter, director; Jeff Wilson (Valley Christian) and Xiaowen Cai (Beijing 57), assistant directors; Mark Muendelein, drum majors.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Valley Christian/Beijing No. 57 School “East-West Fusion Band” is the first internationally-combined high school band in the history of the Tournament of Roses Parade®, according to Tournament of Roses President Sally Bixby. She said that this band’s teamwork is especially fitting for the theme of this year’s parade, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" The Valley Christian Marching Band was also chosen to be the first non-Disney band to march down Main Street at the newly-opened Hong Kong Disneyland in 2007.

Updated on: 12/9/2012 10:22:16 PM

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