SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – When Bonita High School senior Randy Gershman received an email inviting him to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade, he doubted its legitimacy. His skepticism turned to surprise, then joy, upon learning this rare opportunity was real, earned after his success at the California State Drum Major Championships earlier this year.
Gershman will march in the parade through the West End of London on Jan. 1, 2024, performing a routine with four other drum majors.
“I honestly didn’t know if the email was real or not, at first, but it really is something special,” Gershman said. “It’s a great honor to go there and represent not only my school, but my District and my country.”
Gershman secured his spot in the London New Year’s Day Parade after earning second place in the Apprentice Field Conducting division at the California State Drum Major Championships, where he conducted to a piece of music and was graded on his cues, timing, facial expressions and more.
Though this is Gershman’s first year as drum major for the Marching Bearcats, he has been performing since he was nine years old, when he joined his elementary school’s band. He has been part of the school band programs ever since, switching between trumpet, euphonium, French horn and mellophone over the years.
“Randy made it his goal to become drum major his senior year and throughout his junior year dedicated himself to developing his skills and knowledge,” Bonita High School band director Jeff Bird said. “All that hard work has paid off as he led his band to a seventh-place finish at championships and is now enjoying this amazing New Year’s Day opportunity. I couldn’t be prouder of all Randy has accomplished in the last year and wish him all the luck on his adventure.”
BUSD_GERSHMAN: Bonita High School senior and Marching Bearcats drum major showcases one of the band’s trophies. Gershman will perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade, an honor earned after finishing second in the Apprentice Field Conducting division at the California State Drum Major Championship in 2023.