The Edmond Sun

December 19, 2013

Santa Fe band, orchestra members prepare for London

Instruments, uniforms are loaded and on their way

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND —  In 2012 Santa Fe High School band members received an invitation to play in the 2014 New Year’s Day London Parade. A dream was born and Dec. 27 it will come true as more than 150 band and orchestra members boarded buses to take them to either Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers International Airport or on to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport.

“There weren’t enough flights leaving Oklahoma City to accommodate all 240 band and orchestra members and chaperones,” said band director Mike Lowery.

As a result, some will be driving to Dallas then catching a flight to Charlotte, N.C., and then on to London and others will be flying out of Oklahoma City to Dallas and catching a flight from Dallas to their London destination.

Thursday was the last practice band members had with their instruments as instruments and band uniforms were packed and sent ahead of the students.

During class time Thursday, both Lowery and the Orchestra Director Christy Fine were tutoring students on how to behave and how to use the tube, London’s underground subway, discussing places to go and things to see.

In 2012 Robert Bone, one of the founders and director of the parade, had issued an invitation to the band and orchestra directors in person as he invited the musical groups to participate in what he called, “one of the most important events of the year in England.”

This is not the first time the band has been invited to participate. This is the sixth time the band students will be performing and the second time the orchestra students have participated.

Bone told them they will be joining 8,000 participants from all over the United States and 31 boroughs in London.

“The parade is twice as big as Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City,” Bone said. “The street audience will be three quarters of a million strong and another 250 million will compose the world audience and this year will be seen on a live world stream.”

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.

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.