'It's pretty exciting:' Greendale Marching Band departs for Pasadena for 2020 Rose Parade

GREENDALE --  The Greendale Marching Band students, staff and chaperones on Friday morning, Dec. 27 departed for Pasadena, California, to begin their journey to march in the 2020 Rose Parade on New Year's Day.

"It's pretty exciting," said Tom Reifenberg, band director. "The parade is five-and-a-half miles long. So a lot of the preparation involved was just building the endurance to march five-and-a-half miles. Which is the equivalent of Greendale High School to the airport -- so it's a long trek for the kids. Otherwise, the normal, memorizing the music, making sure the flag work looks good, being prepared to be in front of 40 million people on national tv."

Greendale's band was one of 20 selected to perform in the Rose Parade of the roughly 100 that apply.

"The Rose Parade selection process, it’s an audition process, so we have to submit materials, and letters of recommendation, and videos, and then the Tournament of Roses Committee chooses bands, and they have criteria they choose from," said Reifenberg. "They don’t just take anybody, obviously. You’ve got to be a very high-quality program to get chosen -- to be selected for this. Once you’re selected, you want to make sure you have that high quality on camera in front of 40 million people watching at home."

The Greendale High School Marching Band performed in the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- selected from 175 applicants as one of 10 bands earning this honor.

Greendale HS Marching Band chosen to perform in Tournament of Roses Parade

The Rose Parade broadcast begins at 10 a.m. CST -- and you'll be able to watch it on FOX6 as well as FOX6Now.com and the FOX6 News app.