Band marches through London in New Years Parade

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Eleanor Bogart-Stuart staff writer

The marching band is best known for its appearances at football games, pep rallies and other special events in the community. This past winter break, the marching band marched to a different tune halfway across the world in the streets of London for the annual New Year’s Day Parade. Band members flew to London on Dec. 27 and returned on Jan. 2.

This is the second time that the marching band has been invited to march in this event.  On Jan.1, the band marched the two mile long parade, which spanned from the Ritz Hotel to Parliament Square. The tickets bought by the one million parade-goers who attend each year are used to raise money for London based charities.

“The London trip was pretty fantastic for a lot of different reasons.The parade probably went the best it could have gone. Everybody performed very, very well. They adjusted to the different circumstances, ‘cause you know, in a parade there’s a lot of moving parts. For a lot of these kids it was their first parade and they really did a really good job,” senior drum major Scott Senior said.

“It was a great trip. The students performed excellently,” band director Bill Bradbury said. “The students that went there got to know eachother better and I think their relationships deepened as a whole. They really rose up to their performance and achievements.”

The drum line marches in the New Years Day parade. Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee.
The drum line marches in the New Years Day parade. Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee.

Compared to the parade, which lasted three hours, the preparation for the event itself lasted much longer. For the first semster, band members spent around two to four hours each week honing their marching skills and practicing the songs that they were to perform in London.

“To say the least, all of that build-up was difficult. I play soccer so it was hard to balance both my sport, the band and my grades. But in the end it was absolutely worth it,” junior trumpet player Samantha Kurtz said.

For some, this wasn’t their first time marching in London. Senior attended his first London trip as a freshman, and returned this year as the leader of the band.

“I felt a lot of pride already, for representing our school. But standing up there as a drum major, it’s like infinitely greater, the pride I felt. We put in all this work. I’m just so proud of all the work we put in and the music we make,” Senior said. “We have all these different memories we connect over now. It really has brought us all closer together.”

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