Sophomore to perform in Rose Parade

Mariana Bagneris ’11 will play the electric violin atop one of the floats in the nationally-televised Rose Parade on Jan. 1.

Bagneris will be joined on her float by two other string musicians and longtime Sesame Street cast member Bob McGrath.

Bagneris did not know what exactly the float will be, but that it will accompany the 300-member National Honor Marching Band, she said.

“I am not nervous at the moment because I really enjoy playing the electric violin and look forward to enjoying every second of it,” Bagneris said. “But I might get nervous right before we take off on the float.”

Bagneris will also be performing at Disneyland on Dec. 29 as part of the same program. Full-day rehearsals will start Dec. 28, she said. Bagneris said she was recommended for the float after playing the electric violin with the Alternative Strings Group. ASG is a program that teaches students how to play their instruments in musical styles they might not normally play, such as pop, rock and reggae.

“I wanted to do it because I heard that they played ‘hip-hop violin’ and that really sparked my interest,” Bagneris said. “I wanted to explore music that wasn’t classical … and now I really enjoy it.”

Bagneris, who is concert mistress in the upper school Concert Orchestra as a violinist, started playing the electric violin a year ago.

 “I started playing the electric violin because it was so rare,” Bagneris said. “However, not in my wildest dreams did I think it would take me to performing in the Rose Parade on national television, to Disneyland, or to anywhere of that prestige.”

However unexpected, Bagneris said, she is looking forward to her unique opportunity.

“I’ve always wondered what it would be like to perform in the Rose Parade, and being able to not only participate in it, but to be featured in it is truly a dream come true,” she said. “Not many people get an opportunity like this.”