UCS sophomore selected to perform in Rose Bowl Parade
UCS sophomore selected to perform in Rose Bowl Parade
Posted on 11/22/2021
Braden Cook with Mr. SekichStevenson sophomore Braden Cook may be only a few years into his music career, but so far everything is coming up roses.

Cook has been selected to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day with the Salvation Army Marching Band.

“At first I really didn’t know much about the parade, but now that I know how big it is and that the entire nation will be watching, it's a little scary but also exciting,” he said. 

Cook will join the typically 200-member band as a percussionist in the 133rd Parade of Roses. He has played the tenor drum for the past two years in the Marching Titans band and is the first in the award-winning band’s history to perform at the parade. 

“I’m super proud of him to take initiative and be involved in something outside of the program,” said Stevenson band director Michael Sekich. “I encourage the kids to do that all of the time to get involved in extracurricular, higher level performing groups. What they learn there they will bring back to our ensembles and raise the bar even higher.”

Cook was selected based on his involvement with the Salvation Army, where he is a regular volunteer and has participated in their music camps. 

He and other band members are now preparing themselves “mentally, physically and musically” through regular practice, and will gather together in California several days before the parade to polish their performance. 

Cook’s passion for music began when he picked up drums in junior high school, picking percussion based on his habit of “always tapping on things.”

He said his parents and UCS band teachers have been instrumental in developing his skills and passion in music. Now, what started as a habit, has become a central part of his life and a possible career path. 

“Music is a connection," He said. "It can bring people together and help people through tough times. It can bring people to tears. I want to make people experience these things.”

Cook also has advice for others who may be thinking about picking up an instrument. 

“Stick with it in a way that is comfortable and not feel forced.”