McNeese Marching Band Invited to 2018 London New Year's Day Parade - Monday, November 14, 2016
grand ceremony, McNeese State University’s Pride of McNeese Marching Band
received a prestigious invitation on Friday to the 2018 London New Year’s Day Parade and Festival "across the pond.”
Former Lord Mayor of
the City of Westminster and Senior Parade Patron Catherine Longworth – who is
representing Queen Elizabeth II - traveled to the McNeese campus in person to
present the official invitation to an audience of band members, parents,
administrators, faculty, staff and community leaders gathered in Tritico
accompanied to McNeese by Robert Bone, executive director of the parade. Accepting
the invitation on behalf of the Pride of McNeese Marching was President Philip
Williams, Dr. Jay Jacobs, director of bands, and student band officers.
are honored to receive this invitation,” said Williams. "What a great
opportunity for our students and our band program. We our so proud of our Pride
of McNeese Marching Band.”
presented gifts to the university from Buckingham Palace.
Charles Mayor Randy Roach presented the key to the city to the Lord Mayor and
then presented both Longworth and Bone with honorary citizenships. "This
key unlocks the heart of Southwest Louisiana and unites us in spirit with other
people around the world.”
Participation in the
32nd London New Year’s Day Parade and Festival is by invitation only. A music program
must be nominated to the selection committee by a previous participant or one
of the Regional Directors of Music for consideration to receive an invitation.Then
each fall, the Lord Mayoralty decides upon a select number of groups that it
wishes to visit in the United States to extend an invitation to the parade. This
year 16 American bands have been invited and only two are university marching
historic parade route includes Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square
and Whitehall with a final arena adjacent to the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben
and Westminster Abbey. Over 650,000 spectators will line the parade route and over
350 million people will view the TV broadcast worldwide, according to Bone.
"This will be a tremendous
educational opportunity for our students to travel abroad and a great honor to
represent McNeese State University, the city of Lake Charles, the state of
Louisiana and the United States on an international level,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs said that individual band
students will be responsible for the majority of the expenses, which are
estimated to be $3,350, which includes six days/six nights in the United Kingdom,
as well as two travel days.
"Through a fundraising campaign,
we will be attempting to assist the students in easing their individual
financial commitment as much as possible,” explained Jacobs. "Our goal is to
raise at least $160,000, which would reduce each student’s expenses by $1,000.
Every donation, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated."
groups or businesses can donate to the band travel fund through the McNeese
Foundation. Donations can be made online at www.mcneesefoundation.org and select "Band Travel Fund" in the designation area or by