Maths and Sciences Create A Musical Symphony on Boeing Rose Parade Float

In an age of digital sound, Boeing (NYSE:BA) has created "Music of the Spheres", its fifth consecutive float entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade®, bringing the math, science and astronomy of ancient Greece into the 21st century.

Inspired by this year's parade theme, "Music, Music, Music," the Boeing float design reaffirms the company's commitment to the educational success of children. "Music of the Spheres" portrays Greek philosopher Pythagoras holding a gyroscope of mathematical ratios found in musical scales and celestial charts. The elements at the rear of the float represent the abstract art of music and planetary exploration.

"Music combined with education enriches the quality of life in our global communities," said Bill Collopy, vice president, Southern California Operations, for Boeing. "'Music of the Spheres' displays how ancient mathematics, science and astronomy were used to create the harmonious sounds of music that we all enjoy today."

More than 800 employee volunteers from Boeing -- California's largest private manufacturing employer -- have dedicated 6,400 hours to decorate the float.

In spirit with the holiday season, Boeing will present the M.I.N.D.® Institute with nearly 200 grandstand tickets for children and their families from the Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Woodland Hills schools to attend the Rose Parade. The M.I.N.D. Institute, based in Costa Mesa, Calif. is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing students' math skills.

On Dec. 29, children from Gates Elementary School in Los Angeles, who are participants of the M.I.N.D. Institute's Math+Music program, will join Boeing volunteers in putting the final floral touches to the company's float.

"Boeing shares our enthusiasm for an innovative education program that teaches children to think," said Andrew Coulson, president of the Education Division of the M.I.N.D. Institute. "Our kids love math and develop strong creative problem-solving skills. This gives them the tools, and the confidence, to succeed in school and in the future high-tech workforce."

The Boeing Company is the world's leading aerospace company, with its heritage mirroring the history of flight. It is the largest manufacturer of military aircraft, commercial jetliners, and satellites. The company is also a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight, and launch services. Chicago-based Boeing has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries.

2004 Boeing "Music of the Spheres" Rose Parade Float Facts

The Float:

"Music of the Spheres" is The Boeing Company's fifth consecutive entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade®. Its design was inspired by the theme of this year's parade, "Music, Music, Music," and the company's commitment to the educational success of children.

As the Boeing float comes into view, Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, leads the way. He's holding a gyroscope of mathematical ratios found in musical scales and celestial charts and is followed by elements representing the abstract art of music and planetary exploration. More than 800 Boeing employee volunteers spent 6,400 hours decorating the 55 ft.-long float.


Height: 25 Feet Length: 55 Feet Width: 18Feet


Approximately 1,800 lbs.

Number of Flowers:

More than 1 million fresh and dried floral blossoms

Dried Materials:

More than 4,000 lbs.


Pythagoras' face is created with a variety of spices and ground organic materials, his hair and beard feature pampas grass, curly seaweed and palm fiber; the gyroscope in his hands is created with various shades of strawflower, rice and coconut. The fiery space trails at the rear of the float are made up of roses, carnations, iris and chrysanthemums. The scrolls have blue and purple statice and ground rice, the musical scales are created with ground and crushed rice, and the spheres offer a variety of dry materials including orange lentil and split pea. The base is made up of roses, carnations, gladiolus, gypsophila, leather fern, orchids and arrangements of exotic florals.

Color Scheme:

"Music of the Spheres" features vibrant shades of blue, purple, white, gold, yellow and orange.


The gyroscope in Pythagoras' hands rotates in a multi-motional manner, creating the effect of universal movement


The music system on the float produces 15,000 watts, capable of creating a three-dimensional sound broadcasting a specially created pastiche of music. The float will be playing "Olympic Fanfare" by John Williams.

Float Vehicle:

Powered by a Chevy 350 V8 engine; animation power for the revolving gyroscope and strobe lights is provided by an on-board electrical generator.

Float Builder:

Phoenix Decorating Company, Pasadena, Calif.

Float Designer Name:

Michelle Lofthouse


For further information:
Dianna Ramirez
office: 562- 797-1305
mobile: 562-221-1561
Gary Lesser
office: 562-593-5233
mobile: 562-225-9405
Debbie Douglas
M.I.N.D. Institute
office: 949-464-9301