|Former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth talks with guests at a reception in her honor at Broad Run High School Sept. 24. She came to present band director William Bramwell Smith with an invitation for his marching band to perform in London’s New Year’s Day parade in 2015. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
The Broad Run High School Marching Band will soon make the trip across the pond to participate in one of London's most popular traditions.
The Ashburn school hosted a visit from England's former Lord Mayor of The City of Westminster Catherine Longworth, who delivered an invitation to the marching band to perform in London's New Year's Day Parade in 2015.
Longworth is the principal patron of the parade and as the former Lord Mayor she serves as an appointed International Goodwill Ambassador. She has been selected to represent the Mayoralty of the City of Westminster, which hosts the parade.
Broad Run won't be the first Loudoun County school to jump the pond for this event.
Stone Bridge High School has been twice and Briar Woods High School has participated once.
“This is a big celebration for us when we heard we were being invited to London for their New Year's Day parade,” Broad Run Principal Doug Anderson said.
“This is a huge honor for our band program and [Band Director William] Smith and all their hard work. It's also a huge honor for our school and our county.”
The parade is referred to in England as the “greatest event in the greatest city in the world.”
Bob Bone, director of the parade, told the assembled parents, band students and guests about the event.
“We have marching bands, floats from all of London's 31 boroughs and lots of other uniquely British things. We have around 8,000 to 9,000 participants every year, which makes it bigger than a little event they have in New York City on Thanksgiving called Macy's Thanksgiving Parade,” Bone said. “Our street audience is typically in the range of 640,000 people. They come out for three-and-a-half hours, stay glued in place and they adore the youth and North American High School Marching Bands.”
During their trip, band members will spend a week in London with tours of major attractions and the city's rich history.
Longworth described the route the band will take on their journey through the parade, which will pass many of those historical landmarks.
“The parade starts near Buckingham Palace in Picadilly. Then you go through Trafalgar Square and enter into Whitehall,” Longworth said. “Next is the House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey and you end the parade under Big Ben.”
Longworth also noted how important this experience will be for the young students.
“To come over and play it is an opportunity for all of you guys to travel, broaden your horizons, learn a different culture and be responsible for yourselves,” she said. “The marching bands are very special for the parade so that is why it is so important for you all to come over.”
|Former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth smiles at Broad Run High School band director William Bramwell Smith Sept. 24 after presenting him with an invitation for his marching band to perform in London's New Year's Day parade in 2015. The band welcomed her and her associates with a performance and a reception.Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
|Band director William Bramwell Smith conducts a performance for former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth during her visit to Broad Run High School Sept. 24. She came to present with an invitation for the marching band to perform in London's New Year's Day parade in 2015. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
|Former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth walks past band members to take the stage at Broad Run High School Sept. 24 She came to present band director William Bramwell Smith with an invitation for his marching band to perform in London's New Year's Day parade in 2015. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
|Band members listen Sept. 24 as former Lord Mayor of Westminster Catherine Longworth makes a speech before presenting band director William Bramwell Smith with an invitation for the Broad Run High School marching band to to perform in London's New Year's Day parade in 2015. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
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