The “Kings of Halftime,” the marching band at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, will serve as the only Georgia representative in the 2017 Rose Parade. (Credit: YouTube)

DeKalb school to perform in Rose Parade next year

Let the fundraising begin. A metro Atlanta high school band will get to perform in the 2017 Rose Parade in California, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced Thursday.

The “Kings of Halftime,” the marching band at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, will serve as the only Georgia representative in the New Year’s Day event that began in 1890 to promote Pasadena agriculture as the Mediterranean of the West, according to the Tournament of Roses.

The band, one of 19 marching bands to participate in the parade, will perform along the parade’s 5½-mile route, Pasadena Tournament of Roses president Brad Ratliff said.

The 128th Rose Parade, themed “Echoes of Success,” will feature bands from the United States, Japan and Mexico.

To be considered, band representatives submitted applications, photos, video footage and letters of recommendation, Ratliff said. The bands were selected based on criteria including musicianship, marching ability and entertainment or special interest value.

Bands, which are required to raise all needed travel and lodging funds, will also perform in one of three Bandfest events scheduled for Dec. 30 and 31 at Pasadena City College.

Two university bands, not yet announced, will also be competing in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game.

The Rose Parade will not be King High School’s first time on the big stage. The band traveled to South Africa for the 2006 Field Band Foundation’s South African National Championships and Dallas, Texas, for the 2008 Cotton Bowl.

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