TRAFALGAR — On New Years Day, the city of Pasadena, California will kick off the Tournament of Roses with a parade, a tradition dating back to 1890.
Two Indian Creek High School students will take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California to perform in the Rose Parade themselves.
Three-hundred musicians from across the county will come together for an unforgettable experience, playing in the Bands of America Honor Band.
“Gabby Aders is our new musician, and she plays the trumpet,” Indian Creek Band Director Amy Heavilin said.
Aders participates in a program at Indian Creek High School called United Sound.
“It’s a national organization that pairs students who have developmental disabilities with students that are in band and they teach them how to play instrument, and it is a really great thing for just making sure that everyone in school has a chance to be involved with music education and be able to play an instrument and just be a part of the band organization,” Heavilin said.
On Jan. 1, Gabby and her band mentor Jaden Schrougham will perform in the 5-mile Rose Parade representing the Bands of America Honor Band.
Sharon Hogue is Gabby’s special education teacher and she said she’s so proud of Gabby and Jaden.
“I get emotional to have somebody with a special need and represent Indian Creek High School, and this is the first. It's remarkable, and you know these kids and Gabby, they put so much into everything that they do,” Hogue said.
Indian Creek is one of the first Indiana schools to join United Sound and make sure music was accessible to all their students.
Heavilin said it’s been incredible to see her students, both mentors and mentees, grow since they joined the organization in 2017.
“The things that made me fall in love with this school were just how close knit the student body is and how well the students work together and just teamwork, and it's just so great how United Sound has fit really well into that,” Heavilin said. “It's just it's as good for the mentors as it is for the young musicians that are learning to play new instruments.”
Gabby and Jaden will be in California for about a week — performing at Disneyland and of course at the Rose Parade.
You can learn more about United Sound and how to help Gabby and Jaden with their airfare by reaching out to Heavilin at her email address firstname.lastname@example.org.