Danville professor lives ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ performing in Rose Parade

Home for the Holidays

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — A Danville music professor experienced a New Year’s Day dream come true as she was chosen to perform in this year’s nationally-televised ‘Tournament of Roses Parade’ in Pasadena, Calif., just outside Los Angeles.

Janet Phillips, Associate Professor of Music at Averett University, represented Virginia in a 300-piece band for the Rose Parade Band Director’s Salute on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 1.

The band’s motto, ‘We Teach Music, We Teach Life,’ resonates with Phillips because she says she lives for that.

She’s been playing the flute and piccolo for more than 40 years, saying, “I watched the Rose Parade every year of my life for as long as I can remember. The bands always make me cry.”

(Photo: Courtesy Janet Phillips)

Last year, she decided to apply, just to see what would happen. To her surprise, she became one of 289 band directors across the U.S. and Mexico who was invited to perform.

“I just kind of let it sink in. I am in what I’ve been watching my whole life. I am in it,” said Phillips.

With the help of her university, she flew to Pasadena to play her piccolo in front of millions during a 5.5-mile march.

“The longest I’d ever marched was down Main Street in Danville,” she joked.

“This means the world to me. It is the experience of a lifetime,” Phillips added. “I can hardly believe I just did it.”

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