Middletown High School Marching Band to perform in LondonJan 09, 2015 04:26PM ● By Kerigan Butt
The Middletown High School Marching Band once again took part in the annual Old Tyme Peach Festival.
By Steven Hoffman
Members of the Middletown High School Marching Band are probably looking forward to the arrival of 2014 more than most. The band was invited by the Lord Mayor of Westminster to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
It’s a prestigious honor. The London New Year’s Day Parade is twice as large as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Middletown High School Marching Band will be cheered by a crowd of 600,000 spectators along the parade route. Another 280 million viewers around the world will watch the broadcast of the parade.
Since the invitation was extended, band members, their families, and band boosters have been hard at work raising as much as possible of the approximately $250,000 that is needed to finance the trip, which is scheduled for Dec. 28 to Jan. 4.
“The community is really helping to support us,” said Kevin Gillie, president of the Middletown High School Band Boosters.
At the Old Tyme Peach Festival in August, members of the band were seemingly everywhere, attempting to raise money for the trip. Some of the students were overseeing kiddie rides while others were running a food booth. Still others were walking around asking for donations. In advance of the Peach Festival, the Middletown Historical Society, the organizer of the event, agreed to match all the contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $1,500.
It was appropriate that the marching band would receive such generous help from the Peach Festival since the marching band has been an important part of the event since it began 20 years ago.
There are approximately 70 or 75 band members likely to make the trip. The cost for each student is expected to be about $3,000. All the money raised in advance through the various fundraisers will be used to reduce the cost to students.
“We would love to have everybody be able to go for free,” said Kevin Gillie, adding that while that won’t be possible the campaign has been successful so far because of the generosity of many.
“We’ve been raising funds all year,” added Patrice Gillie. “The community has really been wonderful.”
Monica Mulderrig, treasurer for the booster club, said that the final payment is due in October, although donations can be made through November.
Anyone interested in helping the band raise the money necessary to make it to London should contact the Middletown High School Band Boosters at [email protected] or visit the band’s website at www.middletownband.com. The band boosters organization is a non-profit and contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The appearance in London will continue an impressive run of accomplishments by the Middletown High School Marching Band. The band was the 2012 Chapter 9 champions in the Tournament of Bands, one of just 13 performing groups in the U.S. selected to participate. Band director Brian Endlein was also recently named as one of the top 50 marching band instructors in the nation.
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email [email protected]