Dec 28, 2017

PHSN Band Prepping for Jan. 1 London Parade

Pickerington North Marching Band

The Pickerington High School North band has “crossed the pond” for its first-ever international performance this holiday season.

In fall 2016, the band was officially invited to perform in the January 2018 New Year’s Day Parade in London, England, by the Lord Mayor in Locum Tenens of the city of Westminster. The group is traveling Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

“A performance of this magnitude is the direct result of our students’ work ethic, community support, and the dedication of all the students that came before us,” said Band Director Marc Parulekar.

North has had previous outstanding performances in the Rose Bowl Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, Macy’s Day Parade, and at Disney.

Faculty, parent, and grandparent volunteers will attend the trip with 140 band students.

Planning and preparation for the trip began more than a year ago when the invitation was announced. The large group will travel to London on six different planes. Expenses for the trip have been fundraised by the band through selling mattresses, entertainment books, restaurant fundraisers, and more.

“This week has been very dedicated to the parade,” said Macie Bement, president of the band. “Even with the break coming up, we’ve been really focused, which is good. We’re really excited.”

The students were practicing as much as possible before holiday break began on Dec. 22. The band will have more time to practice in London before the performance.

Throughout the parade route, which is around two miles in length, the North band will march to three different songs. The group is planning to perform “Get Ready for This” during the bands TV time block.

Two days before the parade, the band will do a preview performance showcasing its talent in Trafalgar Square, a public square in the city of Westminster, said Chris Becker, vice president of the band.

Outside of the performance, “There’s a lot of opportunities for us. We get to choose what we want to do and where to go during free time,” Bement said.

Students and volunteers traveling for the performance will have the opportunity to experience the culture and history in London. The traveling party will visit Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Tower of London, and more sites and museums in London.

Travelers also will go on a city tour of London, enjoy a riverboat cruise, ride the London Eye ferris wheel, and attend a New Year’s Eve dance.

The London New Year’s Day Parade will be streamed live through different  broadcasters. London is five hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. The parade will begin at 12 p.m. in London on January 1.

The London trip and performance is the opportunity of a lifetime for all of the students, especially seniors Bement and Becker, who are honored to represent Pickerington North and to go out with a bang.

Congratulations, and thank you for making Pickerington proud!

If you would like more information or want to watch streaming online, visit the parade website and follow the North Band Twitter page for tweets and photos from London.