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Community Champion: Band director from El Paso to march in Rose Parade

EL PASO, Texas - John Matthews II is getting a chance of a lifetime.

The Eastwood High School band director will be marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on New Year's Day.

Matthews has been a band director for 11 years.

It was a job he knew he wanted ever since he was in middle school because it was a way to teach and help people.

A graduate of Eastwood High School, Matthews recently took the job as head band director at his alma mater.

"It still takes my breath away that every morning when I walk in I'm actually opening up the band room that basically started it all," Matthews said.

It was always a dream of Matthews to march in the Rose Parade, and that dream will finally get a chance to bloom.

"It's going to be a rehearsal, performance, rehearsal, performance everyday, so it's going to be so intense."

Matthews will be part of a group of around 250 band directors from across the country chosen to march in the Rose Parade.

The group is called, 'A Salute America's Band Directors.'

"There will be other band directors from Texas, but being the sole representation from El Paso gives me a sense of pride," Matthews said. "It also makes me feel that I got be good at what I do."

Matthews played trumpet during his years in band in high school and college, but for the Rose Parade he'll be strapping on the tenor drums as part of the groups drumline.

"Being able to march in the Rose Parade probably won't hit me until that morning when I have to wake up at 3 a.m. to setup on the parade route with a drum strapped on to me," Matthews said. "That's when I'll probably go 'oh wow' this is real."

The Rose Parade will air Saturday, New Year's Day at 9 a.m. and will be televised on ABC-7.

For his accomplishment, John Matthews II is this week's Community Champion.

Community Champions is sponsored by Albertsons and the El Paso Community Foundation.

Article Topic Follows: Community Champions

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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