Parading and practicing in the Dodger Stadium parking lot

Baseball season ended months ago but Dodger Stadium has been far from quiet. The last few days of the year find the giant stadium parking lot reverberating with the sounds of tubas, trombones and drums as marching bands practice for their New Year’s Day stroll down Colorado Boulevard during the Rose Parade. The 350 members of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s All District High School Honor Band makes most of the noise. But in years past bands from other schools and organizations have also shared the parking lot to perfect their sounds and moves in time for the Pasadena parade.

Many of the residents who live near Dodger Stadium spend most of the Spring and Summer dreading baseball game traffic and noise. But come December many of those same residents look forward to what has become an annual, holiday concert series. Some people don’t just listen from their homes. Entire families trek through the stadium parking lot to watch and listen to the young musicians practice across the asphalt, say nearby residents.

“I love listening to them. They are phenomenal” said Mary-Austin Klein of the school district band. They keep playing [the theme to] “Sesame Street” this year. It’s hilarious.”

Peter Lassen is another marching band fan. But he has his limits. “I am not happy about hearing “Proud Mary” over and over again. But it’s fun.”

If you can’t make today’s final band practice at Dodger Stadium, then tune in the Rose Parade on Thursday and wait for LA Unified’s Honor Band to roll by. They are scheduled to be entry No. 83. I wonder if they will still be playing Proud Mary.

Photo by NoHo Damon.

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