Troy High School band to return to London parade in 2023


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy High School marching band welcomed visitors from across the pond on Friday who arrived at the school to invite the band back to participate in London’s annual New Year’s Day Parade on Jan. 1, 2023.

The THS marching band typically goes to London, England once every four years to participate in the parade, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw the schedule off by one year.

The parade is one of the biggest New Year’s Day events in the world and is viewed by more than 450 million people every year either in person, on television, or online. It will be broadcast on PBS in the United States.

Dignitaries from the parade and the city of London were in the THS auditorium Friday to present the formal invitation to the Trojans, walking in as the THS marching band performed renditions of popular songs like “High Hopes” by Panic! At The Disco.

“’Wow‘ is all I can say, what fantastic music,” said Robert C. Bone, executive director of the London New Year’s Day Parade.

Bone said the London New Year’s Day Parade Committee does regular polls with viewers of the parade about what their favorite thing to watch in the parade is, and the answer is always the American high school and college marching bands.

Bone joked that the U.K. does not have anything like American marching bands because they “play proper football” while complimenting the school’s band members.

“We don’t have anything like it. We don’t have anything like you with your excellence, your style, your razzmatazz, and your incredible playing abilities,” Bone said. “So you’re the favorite thing.”

“One of the greatest things about coming to the United States of America is the warm welcome,” said Steve Summers, chief patron as chairman of the London Mayor’s Association and former Lord Mayor of Westminster. “We love the United States. You are our number one allies, and it feels absolutely incredible to be here with you.”

In addition to performing in the parade, the students who go on the trip will also get the opportunity to sightsee around London, including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Oxford, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and more attractions like art galleries, museums, theatres, and shops.

“I want to say thank you, because I know this amazing performance doesn’t just happen. I know it means lots of sacrifices,” Summers said, mentioning the time spent practicing and fundraising for the trip.

Summers encouraged the band members to come to London, saying that it will be life changing for them.

“It will change your life forever. You will make memories that will stay with you forever. You will make friendships that will stay with you forever. You will experience things that you will want to talk to with people about forever,” Summers said.

THS band director Kathy McIntosh echoed similar comments, saying they are very excited and looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s just a chance of a lifetime for the kids, and they never come back the same. It changes them,” McIntosh said. “We’ve had students go into international studies because of it, we’ve had students travel to London by themselves later on because of it, and it’s just a great experience for them.”

The THS marching band also recently received a superior rating at the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) State Marching Band Finals, along with their neighbors to the north, the Pride of Piqua Marching Band at the Piqua High School.

“That is our 20th superior rating in a row at state finals, and it is our 41st that we’ve qualified for state finals by receiving a superior rating at a local event,” McIntosh said about the THS marching band. “So they just worked really hard this year. We had a lot of catch-up to do just because we didn’t get to do a lot last year, and so they’ve worked really, really hard and just done a great job. And we’re really proud of the product that they did and the things that they’ve learned.”

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