West Chester University’s ‘INCOMPARABLE’ Golden Rams Marching Band Selected to perform in the 2024 Rose Parade®
The West Chester University “INCOMPARABLE” Golden Rams Marching Band will again represent West Chester University and the greater Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) on the international stage when they become the first marching band within the PASSHE system to march in the iconic 135th Rose Parade® presented by Honda on Monday, January 1, 2024. An annual tradition for more than 130 years, the Rose Parade has a television viewership of over 25 million people and a live attendance of about 700,000.
Each year, the Tournament of Roses Association® selects a small number of bands from a large pool of international applicants to perform in the Rose Parade that precedes college football’s Rose Bowl Game® in Pasadena, California. The competitive Rose Parade selection process uses a variety of criteria for invited participants that includes musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value. It is less common for a University band to be selected, save for the two marching bands representing the two Rose Bowl Game football teams.
“As a renowned musical legacy, the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band continues to be a distinctive element at West Chester University and one that brings a great deal of pride to the entire community,” says West Chester University President Chris Fiorentino. “Hailing from all disciplines and majors, 350 students juggle the academic rigor of the University with a demanding practice schedule. These outstanding students deserve this coveted opportunity, and we are thrilled that they will bring worldwide recognition to West Chester University, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
To fund travel expenses for the band’s 350 members, West Chester University launched the “RamBand Road to the Roses ‘24” initiative, which aims to raise $1 Million. Anchored by a $100,000 matching gift challenge from Dr. James Wells ’54 and Mr. Richard G. Wells ’58, who are both alumni and the namesakes for West Chester’s School of Music, the initiative invites donors to make a gift to be matched by March 10, 2023, which is West Chester University’s Charter Day of Giving. Gifts can be made at www.wcufoundation.org/ramband.
Dean of West Chester University’s Wells School of Music Christopher Hanning adds, “The INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band is the largest ensemble within West Chester University’s Wells School of Music. We kindly request the support of the entire University community, as well as the surrounding community and throughout Pennsylvania, so that the band’s 350-member ensemble can be seen and heard in its full majesty at the 2024 Rose Parade.”
Director of Athletic Bands Adam Gumble says, “Marching in the Rose Parade has been a longtime goal of the INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band. The highly competitive selection process means that only the world’s best marching bands are invited to perform. This recognition from the Tournament of Roses Association is yet another reminder that West Chester University’s marching band is truly INCOMPARABLE. We want to thank our students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans for their unyielding support of our program.”
The West Chester University INCOMPARABLE Golden Rams Marching Band is a group of 300+ students that proudly represents West Chester University and the greater West Chester community. Comprised of students from more than 60 different majors, the marching band involves students from every segment of the campus population and is the largest student organization on campus. In addition to performing at local and regional parades and exhibitions, the “RamBand” has performed at prestigious events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nashville Christmas Parade, National Football League games, Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade, and Bands of America Regional and Grand National Championships! The West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band has earned a national reputation as a leader in the marching arts and was named the recipient of the 2019 Sudler Trophy. The Sudler Trophy is presented biannually to a university marching band that demonstrates the highest standards of music performance, precision marching, and innovation in show design and is considered the “Heisman Trophy” for college marching bands. West Chester University is one of only 32 schools in the United States and the first NCAA Division II School to receive the award!