Monday Santa Fe High School’s band and orchestra directors accepted an invitation on behalf of their students to play in the New Year’s Day London Parade in 2014.
Robert Bone, one of the founders and director of the parade, addressed the band and orchestra students saying he was delighted to be at Santa Fe once again and to be part of the delegation inviting the bands to one of the most important events of the year in England.
As ambassadors for their school, district and country, he told them they will have a chance to show off their musical talents.
“Thanks to your predecessors, my job is easier because you were so good in the past,” Bone said. “You were perfectly, spectacularly good as representatives for Oklahoma, Edmond and your school.
He told them they will have a chance to show off their musical talents at the greatest event in the greatest city in the world.
“You will be at the biggest event of its kind in the year as you join the 8,000 (participants) taking part from all over the United States and 31 boroughs in London,” Bone said. “The London parade is twice as big as Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.”
The street audience will be three quarters of a million strong and another 250 million will compose the world audience, Bone said and this year will be seen on a live world stream.
“The numbers are a tribute to the excellence of the performances,” Bone said.
On hand to present the invitation was Roger Bramble, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and Her Majesty The Queen’s Representative. Bramble, also a parade founder, also presented “trinkets” or gifts to the school and individuals responsible for making the trip happen.
In turn Bramble was given a lap quilt with historic Edmond locations as well as a declaration from state Sen. Greg Treat on behalf of Gov. Mary Fallin and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.
“I plan on going,” said Sally Oh, junior. “I am very excited because I have never gone any place outside of North America.”
The Concert Orchestra will be performing in the 900-seat Cadogan Hall, home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London.
“I think in my short time here I have come to see what an outstanding Fine Arts program we have at Santa Fe, especially our band and orchestra,” said Jason Hayes, Santa Fe principal.
This is the sixth time the band students will be performing and the second time the orchestra students have gone.
“We try to go every fourth year so all of the orchestra students can have the opportunity to go,” said orchestra director Christy Fine. “This is an experience many students will never have the opportunity again to experience.”
Superintendent David Goin said the truly outstanding invitation will be presented at the next school board meeting Oct. 1.
The Memorial and North high school bands joined the Santa Fe band as the Edmond City Schools Marching Band Oklahoma, USA, as 100 band students marched in the 2012 New Year’s Day London Parade.
With 15 months to raise money to help fund the $3,000 each of the 200 students will be responsible for raising, Santa Fe band director Mike Lowery said the students have already had two fundraisers with a Yankee candle sale coming up in a month.
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