Santa Maria High School band director to march in Rose Parade
Samantha Quart loves her job.
So much so that her passion impressed the Saluting America’s Band Directors project, which selected the Santa Maria High School band director to march in the 2022 Rose Parade Saturday with nearly 300 other directors from all 50 states and Mexico.
The 133rd parade will be televised live at 8 a.m. Saturday on ABC (KEYT-TV, Channel 3), NBC (KSBY-TV, Channel 6) and the Hallmark Channel.
Ms. Quart has been a band director since 2016 when she started working in that position at Santa Maria High School. She is originally from Michigan, where she graduated from Central Michigan University, with her degree in music education.
“I knew I wanted to be a band director since my freshman year of high school,” Ms. Quart told the News-Press. “When I was in band in high school, my band director showed me that I had learned to play my instrument backward, and I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else.”
She added, “I had always loved marching band, and I wanted to do something I loved for the rest of my life.”
Following a job fair at her university, Ms. Quart began talking to a school in Bakersfield upon her graduation. The opportunity with Bakersfield fell through, but Santa Maria High School had an opening, and the school got information about Ms. Quart from the Bakersfield school.
Ms. Quart said marching in the Rose Parade, a famous New Year’s Day tradition on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, feels like the biggest honor to her.
“I have always known about the Rose Parade,” Ms. Quart said. “It’s a national acknowledgement. I even have a running joke with my dad about being in the Rose Parade.”
To participate in the Saluting America’s Band Directors project, band directors must demonstrate on their applications that they loved what they did and wanted to show that. They must also list things their band has done and in which they have participated. Lastly, they must demonstrate how they do more than just make music with the band — and how they teach students to love the band experience and give back to the community.
“There is a lot I hope my students feel and see,” Ms. Quart said when asked what she hopes to model for her students by marching in the parade. Ms. Quart hopes her students understand the importance of following a passion whether you are getting paid or not, being acknowledged for doing something you love, following your passion no matter what it is, and setting a goal and accomplishing it.
“I have known about this since November of 2019. It still feels like it is so far away and like it’s never going to happen,” Ms. Quart told the News-Press.
Ms. Quart was originally supposed to march in the 2021 parade, but the event was canceled due to the pandemic.
But on Saturday, she’ll march with other band directors as she takes another step forward in a career she loves.