NAfME Member Accepts Invitation from Queen Elizabeth for 2016 New Year's Parade in London

What is bigger than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and viewed by more people than Pasadena’s Rose Parade? London, England’s New Year’s Day Parade and Festival is the biggest event of its kind in the world! And Olivet’s Marching Tigers have been invited to perform there for the 30th annual event on New Year’s Day 2016.

The official invitation came by personal delivery on Thursday, October 23, 2014, when Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London Roger Bramble and his entourage visited Olivet’s campus. Lord Bramble, representing Queen Elizabeth II, is the senior patron of the Parade. Olivet is one of only 12 schools to receive such an invitation.

“My greatest passion from childhood has been music, and I seize the musical chores of this event, including this Parade,” said Deputy Lieutenant Bramble in his address to the audience of Olivet students, staff and faculty who gathered in Kresge Auditorium. “Olivet’s bands have a reputation for outstanding performance abilities.

“I extend this invitation to the bands of Olivet Nazarene University to participate in the Parade and Festival in London, England, on New Year’s Day 2016.” Mr. Bramble presented Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, with the formal invitation, printed and framed.

“We are honored by this invitation, and we look forward to participating,” Dr. Bowling said as he accepted the invitation on behalf of Olivet. Addressing the students present, he added, “What a great opportunity for you to participate in this great event. This will be a signature event in your Olivet experience and one that you will cherish for the rest of your life.”

The London Parade and Festival’s magnificent, prestigious and historic parade route will include Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall with a final arena adjacent to The Palace of Westminster, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The Parade lasts for nearly four hours and includes 8,500 participants who represent 20 countries. The street audience will be in excess of 650,000 plus a television broadcast on 500 stations that will reach more than 300 million people worldwide. The band will also perform in one of the London Gala concerts that are part of the Parade and Festival.

“We have some work to do to get ready for this event,” said Dr. Matthew Stratton, associate director of bands and director of athletic bands at Olivet. “And we’ll do that with joy and enthusiasm!”

This year’s Marching Tigers, including 196 students, is the largest marching band at any Christian university in the United States. Dr. Neal McMullian of Olivet’s School of Music is director of bands. Dr. Matt Jacklin is director of percussion studies.

“This is an honor for our School of Music and the University,” said Dr. Don Reddick, dean of the School of Music. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). “I commend Dr. Stratton on this achievement. He has been instrumental — in more ways than one — in making this a reality for Olivet,” Reddick says.

Source: Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois