MHS senior marches in Tournament of Roses Parade
Mundelein High School senior Donald Renz was selected to march in the Rose Bowl parade. | PHOTO PROVIDED
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:22AM
For those who are anxious to see how the Wisconsin Badgers fare in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl after losing head coach Bret Bielema, you might see a familiar face before the game is played.
Mundelein High School senior Donald Renz was selected to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
In March, Renz submitted a three-minute audio clip and a character reference written by Co-Band Director Adam Gohr. By May, Renz was selected as one of 300 high school students who comprise the Honor Band, which represents all 50 states.
Departing on Thursday, Dec. 27, Renz will spend five days in Los Angeles practicing with his new colleagues.
Q: Do you like college football?
A: Yes. I’m from Dayton, Ohio, so I was pulling for the infamous Ohio State Buckeyes this year.
Q: Why is performing at the Rose Bowl such a big deal for you?
A: It’s a BCS Bowl, which is one of the top five bowls, so that makes me feel honored to play there. The nerve-racking part is that I’m in an honor band with some of the best performers in the country, maybe ever. Music for All and Bands of America are very influential organizations, and they chose me.
Q: How long have you been performing?
A: I started playing clarinet when I was in fifth grade. I’ve experimented a little with the trumpet, euphonium and some saxophone. I still like the clarinet best because it’s the most versatile instrument. You can play it in any ensemble because it has a wide range of tones, and you can play it both fast and slow.
Q: How often do you practice?
A: Fortunately, Mundelein High School has block scheduling, so I get 90 minutes every day, but I try to still play an hour-and-a-half at home every couple of days.
Q: Have you practiced more since you were accepted to the Rose Bowl?
A: We got the music in October and I learned it pretty quick, but I run through each one at least once a week to keep fresh.
Q: Do you plan to pursue music in college?
A: I’m not planning on pursuing a career, but I definitely want to keep it in my life so I plan to minor in music. I haven’t decided where I’m going but I’m interested in engineering programs.
Q: Do you have any favorite memories from MHS band?
A: In 2010 we were recognized during a Western Illinois University clinic. Right after that, our wind ensemble got selected to play at the Chicago Symphony Center with two other Chicago-area high schools. I made the wind ensemble that year and it was exciting.
Q: Are you involved in anything else at MHS?
A: I run on the varsity cross country and track teams. I am also on the math team, academic team, a member of the National Honor Society, and I’ve been on the ‘Straight A Honor Roll’ all four years.