four people in a photo smiling and holding a proclamation

Congratulations to the Newport Pride Marching Band, which has been invited to participate in the 2020 London New Year’s Day Parade!

With more than 8,500 performers from 20 different countries, the parade will begin in Piccadilly, wind through the streets of London and end on Parliament Street.  The formal invitation to participate was given by Duncan Sandys, Sir Winston Churchill’s great grandson and past President of the London Mayors’ Association on Oct. 26 at Newport High School’s Performing Arts Center.  Along with the invitation, Sandys presented Newport with a plate from Buckingham Palace and an umbrella as a symbol of good luck.

“The London New Year’s Parade is an exciting opportunity for Newport Pride Marching Band for many reasons,” said Band Co-Director Cory Edwards.  “The parade is one of the most well attended parades in the world, and we now have the wonderful honor and responsibility of representing our region on that stage. We really believe experiences like these will be with our students for a lifetime and are proud to be able to put together a trip of this magnitude.”

The band was selected through a nomination and invitation process.  With this invitation, the band will attend an eight day, seven night trip to London and surrounding areas for a performance and educational tour.  The tour will include historic sites such as the Tower of London, the Royal Observatory, and many more.  Newport’s Concert Bands will have some performance opportunities on the trip as well.

Band Co-Director Todd Mahaffey said, “Having participated in many trips like this, I know this will be a fantastic experience for our students, our staff, and our community. The trip itself will certainly be amazing, yet all of the work and preparation in the months before have the potential to be even more meaningful and transformative.”