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Two NC universities send marching bands to Rose Bowl

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SYLVA, NC (AP) -- Marching bands from two North Carolina universities are hitting the road to reach Southern California and perform in the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's Day.

Hundreds of members of the Western Carolina University and North Carolina Central University marching bands were scheduled to leave Tuesday. The bands are among 22 from as far away as Japan picked to march in the annual, nationally telecast parade in Pasadena, CA.

Band supporters at both public universities had to raise more than $500,000 each to make participation possible.

Western Carolina's band landed its parade invitation after winning the 2009 John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Trophy. That award is given each year to the country's top college band.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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