Harrisburg, NC - Hickory Ridge High School’s Blue Regiment Marching Band is heading to London, England Monday. The group of roughly 90 students from the school in Harrisburg will be performing in the city’s annual New Year’s Day Parade.
“It's really an exciting opportunity for the students to be performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people in a foreign city,” said Chris White, Director of Bands for Hickory Ridge High School.
School staff applied to be a participant two years ago and after being accepted, spent the next 16 months fundraising to pay for the trip and getting passports for the students. Over the last two months, the group has been practicing their routine, rain or shine. Today they had their final rehearsal before leaving town.
“Right now we’re just running through the drill that we're going to do in London,” said Jeremy Rivero. “The marching technique is one of the things that we really have to focus on, making sure everyone stops on the right foot [and] at the same time everyone's playing the same notes and wasn’t missing out on something,” said Rivero.
White says there are no marching bands in Europe. “So they ship all the marching bands over from the United States. We’re treated like celebrities everyone's filming us. Everyone's wanting to get a glimpse at us.”
White and the students agree that they’re well-prepared for the big day.
“I think it's going to be really fun traveling we're going to stay there for a good week and just sight see,” said Rivero.
“I've never been out of the country so I'm really excited to see England and Europe,” said Savannah Moody, also a Drum Major. “We're all so excited to go and this is an incredible experience and I can't wait to be there.”
This is actually the third time Hickory Ridge High School has had its marching band go to London for New Years. The group performed in the parade in 2008 and 2009.