Leon HS Band Heads To London In 2014

Sep 28, 2012

The Leon High School Band is heading across the pond to London, England next year after being chosen to participate in the country’s 2014 New Year’s Day Parade.  The news came in a surprise announcement from representatives of the Queen on Friday.

The band will join 12 other marching bands in representing the United States during London’s 2014 New Year’s Day Parade.  The Parade’s director Bob Bone, says American marching bands have always been a major draw for the London crowd.

We don’t have that sort of thing in the U.K. We have plenty of military bands, brass bands, that sort of thing, but they don’t have the kind of razz-ma-tazz of the American high school stuff, so they love it.” 

And Leon High School didn’t find London, instead, as Bone says, London found them.

“Our information comes from prominent band directors and former directors, band judges of competitions who we have lurking all over this huge country who send us back regular reports on what they’ve seen and who they think is very good, he said.

And band members say they're happy to have been chosen,Dennis Pickett says the band is happy to be chosen:

“It’s a tremendous honor and it’s the most amazing thing this program will ever be in. But I know it’s very prestigious and its very impressive. I’m proud of all the work everyone’s done," said drum major Dennis Pickett.

But the honor is also somewhat bittersweet for fellow drum major’s Lizzy Krezeminski and Travis Szilveszter .

“We actually won’t be going…we’re seniors…but best believe whenever I’ll be I’ll be watching. I’ll find a way to.”  

The trip is expected to cost a few thousand dollars per student.  Leon’s band director says he hopes the community will chip in. Of the twelve marching bands representing the United States, two including Leon are from Florida.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn.