Ashburn, VA (Nov. 13, 2015) – It’s a quadrennial thing…
Stone Bridge High School’s marching band will be making its third appearance in the London New Year’s Parade on January 1st, 2017. The Bulldogs previously marched in the gala event in 2009 and 2013. (Stone Bridge was the first Loudoun band to make the trip to this event.)
On Friday, October 23rd, Stone Bridge was extended an official invitation to the event by Bob Bone, the parade’s executive director, and its principal patron, Roger Bramble.
“It’s a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Stone Bridge Principal Matt Wilburn told students gathered in the band room.
Bone heartily agreed…
“We try to make it better every single year.” He noted that by the time 2017 rolls around, the parade will be four years better since Stone Bridge’s last visit.
Bone also gave the students some fun facts about the parade:
It has 8,500 participants “give or take one or two. That’s quite a big number.”
By comparison, New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has 4,300. “Isn’t it nice that, in London, we have something that is twice as big as New York?”
The London parade participants represent 20 countries. 650,000 spectators will view the parade live.
Three hundred million will view the parade on TV. “That is quite a big number, even for you in America.” Bone noted that each one of the band members would be a TV star somewhere in the world “for a nanosecond.”
Bone also said the band members would perform at some of London’s top concert venues during the festival that surrounds the parade.
“The best part of all is you’re going to have a special week with us in London…You’re going to immerse yourself in our culture…You’re going to see just about everything it’s possible to see in that space of time.”
“You will be ambassadors for the school, the state, the union,” said Bramble. He added band members will find an enthusiastic audience and have the opportunity of making friendships that last a lifetime.
As part of the invitation ceremony, the band performed “Pavane” by Maurice Ravel under the direction of student conductor Jeremy Stalcup (it was Stalcup’s first time on the podium).
The Stone Bridge bands are under the direction of David Keller, who is a charter member of the school’s faculty.