Episode available within Canada only.

Being in a marching band can be a life changer if not a life-saver.

No matter the circumstance, it is a place where everyone belongs. It doesn’t matter what is happening in the real world; once a “bandie” enters the music centre, they are home. All is right with the world, and it’s time to get down to business.

The countdown clock is on for the Rose Parade. It is the pinnacle event for the marching band world. It’s their version of the Olympics. Many bands aspire to be selected, very few are chosen.

On January 1st in Pasadena, California, the 129th Rose Parade will take place. There will be 1 million people lining the streets to watch the parade in person. It is seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 100 international territories and countries.

With less than 4 months to go before the parade, of the 220 current Burlington Teen Tour Band members, 60 are brand new to the band. These kids will have to be brought up to speed, learn to march, learn the field show, memorize 20 pieces of music, get conditioned and uniformed. There is a ton to do and the clock is ticking. To help defray costs of the trip, they must fundraise while at the same time juggle school, part-time jobs and family life.

marching at the Rose Parade

The Burlington Teen Tour Band on parade in California.

From now until then, everything they do is in preparation for this parade. Not only do they have to practice their music and marching skills, but need to build up stamina to march the 9km parade route. The stakes are high as these kids have a lot riding on their shoulders. They have one chance to get it right. There will be frustration and set-backs mixed with joy and excitement as they prep for one of the biggest parades in their marching career.

These kids wear their red band jackets with pride. “Band Geeks” have the potential to be targets for taunting, but these kids have 220 “bandies” through thick and thin, who will always have their back no matter what. Lifelong friendships are made, and only a "Band Geek" knows how special it really is to be part of something so big.

Told from their point of view, in their own words, heartfelt moments capture these teenagers try to balance the emotional and physical pressures of being world-class performers with home, school, and work life. The characters' personal stories will be the primary story, and the trajectory of the marching band on its way to the Rose Parade, secondary.

Web Exta: I'm a band geek!

Over the years, the Managing Director has had kids come to him in confidence disclosing all sorts of very private issues from depression to sexual orientation. There are also kids who come from broken homes (with messy divorces underway) and some from low-income families that are subsidized by the Band. It’s not all about escaping divorce and struggle; some are just there for the love of music and fun.

The Burlington Teen Tour Band is a safe-haven where kids can confidently be themselves and challenge themselves to be the best they can be. It, not just a marching band, it’s a big family.

Credits (Click to expand)

directed, written & produced by 
Morgan Elliott

director of photography
Ivan Verlaan

Frank Cassano

executive producers
Morgan Elliott
Paul Vella

production supervisor
Steff Millman

production manager/accountant
Hazel Brennan

original music composed by
Chris Bilton

location audio
David Best
Neil McIntyre

additional camera
Greg Frankovich
Grayden Laing
Perry Walker
Scotty WiIson
Dan Wood

camera assistant
Zhou (ARK) Fang

aerial photography


Stefan Marchand

droneboy camera operator
Bernie Martin

additional audio
James Lazarenko
Adam Labadie
Brent Robichaud

production assistant
Cathy Bower

stills photographer
Andrea Carroll

makeup artist
Melanie Sleep

post production by
Visual Inclination Inc.

post producer
Ivan Verlaan

graphic designer
Mick MacEachern

creative director and colourist
Ivan Verlaan

sound mixed at Studio 18 by
Ben Doner
Mark Krupka
Marla Kishimoto

music supervisor
Chris Bilton

Story consultant
Charlotte Odele

Quinn Thomblison
Dylan Ngo
Lauryn Harrison
Rob Bennett
Bill Hughes
Mary Anne Quaglia
Lance Tibbet

Ann Pirvu

Insurance provided by
Front Row Insurance

legal services provided by
Lewis Birnberg Hanet, LLP

post production accounting
Kay & Warburton

music supervisor
Chris Bilton


"Strike Up the Band!”
Arrangement: Warren Barker

By Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim
Arrangement by Tom Wallace

By Gustav Holst
Arr: Bill Hughes (SOCAN)

“Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
By Michael Kamen
Arrangement by Jay Bocook
© Zachary Creek Music [BMI]
Admin by Songs Of Kobalt Music Publishing

"Nocturne Op 9 No 2"
By Frederic Chopin

By Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim
Arrangement by Tom Wallace

"Pride of Burlington"
By Trevor Brown (PRS)
©2000 Bruno Music Services

"Big Noise From Winnetka"      
By Bob Haggart, Gil Rodin, Ray Bauduc and Bob Crosby
Arrangement by Robert W. Smith
© WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)

special thanks
Burlington Teen Tour Band
City of Burlington
Burlington Transit
Halton District School Board
Burlington YMCA
Hamilton Tiger Cats
Octoberfest Kitchener
City of Kitchener
Anaheim Marriot Suites
Long Beach City College
Universal Studios Hollywood
Pasadena Tournament of Roses
KTLA/Tribune Media

For the CBC
general manager, programming
Sally Catto

executive director, unscripted content
Jennifer Dettman

senior director, documentary
Sandra Kleinfeld

director of production
Alexandra Lane

executive in charge of production
Charlotte Engel

produced with the participation of
The Canadian Media Fund
Ontario Media Development Corporation
Rogers Documentary Fund
Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO)
Canadian federation of Musicians

produced in association with
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


SSP Logo ©2018

CBC copro animation

© 2018 SeeMore…Band Inc. and Suddenly SeeMore…Productions Inc.