Cal Pol’s band is getting ready for the first time to perform in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco on Feb. 15.
Special to Mustang News
The Year of the Horse is starting off with a bang for the Mustangs.
The Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band and the Chinese Student Association (CSA) are getting ready to bring in the Chinese New Year, which begins on Jan. 31.
The CSA is holding the 57th Annual Chinese New Year Banquet on Feb. 1 in Chumash Auditorium. It will feature a performance by the Lion Dance Team, a tai chi demonstration and a play written and produced by members of the club.
The play, “No Place Like Home,” was co-written by Brandon Takahashi, Jessica Ryugo, Sophia Liu and Amanda Yam. The play tells the story about an average teenager who is suddenly sucked into his television and begins an Oz-like journey with a cast of rather eccentric characters, including a Pokémon trainer.
“We try and create a different play every year while still incorporating a lot of Chinese culture,” said Brandon Takahashi, the public relations officer for CSA. “Last year, the play was a love story and it was about college life. This year we based it around television and it’s more about learning to appreciate your family.”
The banquet begins at 5:45 p.m. and costs $12.
As for the marching band, it’s getting ready to perform in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco on Feb. 15. This is the first time that the band has been asked to participate in an event like this. The entire band will be shuttled in five different buses, and at least 70 hotel rooms have been booked for the weekend.
“The marching band doesn’t normally do parades,” said Christopher Woodruff, the associate director of bands. “But this is a really great opportunity for us to extend our brand outside of SLO and gain some exposure and connections. And since it’s the Year of the Horse, it seems appropriate that we are going to be there.”
Preparing for a parade is no small feat.
The band will be expected to march about two miles through the city, playing the entire time. And in San Francisco, the hills can be unforgiving. In order to get ready, the band is adding four extra practices in before the parade.
They’ll be marching around campus for two miles playing songs like “Mustang Sally” and “Jungle Boogie.”