By Jessica Howard
A marching band all the way from California has graced the main street of Ballan.
The Mission San Jose High School Band marched to old and new favourites, including Hold Your Hand by the Beatles and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, as they made their way down Inglis Street on Tuesday (April 18).
Members of the band included 72 high school students, with more than half being just 14 or 15-years-old.
Following the street parade, the band took to the stage of the Ballan Mechanics Institute, where they performed a number of old classics including Overture to the Wind by Kirt Mosier and Soon Hee Newbold’s Orion and the Scorpion.
The marching band performs in parades, band reviews and concerts throughout the year, with the whole band consisting of around 200 members, which in some performances can stretch for a few hundred-metres.
Drum Major and Marching Instructor, Harrison Cheng said the band started their Australian experience in Bendigo, where they performed at the local Easter Festival.
The students then travelled through to Ballan before heading to Sydney for three-nights prior to flying home.
Mr Cheng said the students brought around 100 instruments on their international trip, 60 of which arrived by boat.
“As well as our musicians, we also have dancers, the banner and shield line and the flag line,” he said.
“We have represented our country in Paris, London, Madrid, Edinburgh, Rome and Australia. When competitions are judged we always place well”.
The marching band was transported around Australia by Bacchus Marsh Coaches, and the tour organised by Cartier World Travel in Ballan.
Mr Cheng said the experience had been wonderful for all the students, staff and parents involved.
“In 2007 the band embarked on their first Australian trip, one that I could not attend, and upon returning home everyone said it was the best trip ever,” he said.
“Ten years on, I just knew I had to go”.