The Marshall University Marching Band from Huntington, West Virginia, will ditch the country roads it knows and head across the pond for the 2020 London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP).
With more than 500,000 spectators and 300 million television viewers worldwide, the LNYDP route goes past some of the city’s most popular destinations, from Piccadilly Circus to Parliament.
During the parade, the Marching Thunder will perform “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne, and “Sons of Marshall,” its school fight song. For its performance at the end of the parade, the band will pay tribute to its home state with a West Virginia medley containing songs like “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver and “My Home Among the Hills” by E.W. James.
“This is super exciting for [the students], and I love that they get this opportunity to see a really unique culture and all of the cool things in London, but that they also get an opportunity to perform in front of so many people,” says Adam Dalton, Marshall University director of athletic bands.
Inspired by the upcoming trip, the Marching Thunder performed popular British songs by The Beatles, Queen, and Adele as well as those by British composers like Gustav Holst and Sir Edward Elgar for its “From Across the Pond” halftime show during its regular season.
“It’s awesome music by some awesome artists that people can sing along to and dance along to,” Dalton says. “[These are] songs they all know and [that] get people up and moving during our halftime performance.”