Every year is never a surprise a find at least one or more Metro Atlanta High School or College Bands participating in New Year’s Day parades. This year was no exception. Wednesday, the nearly 250 members of Lassiter High School’s Marching Trojan Band return home from their outstanding performance in the 124th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. The Trojan Band was selected as one of 22 bands from throughout the world and from over 475 band application entrees. Under the leadership of Lassiter Band Director, Alfred L. Watkins, the Cobb County students were the only Georgia performers entertaining more than 700 thousand spectators along the 5 and a half mile parade route. Parade officers say well over 65 million people worldwide viewed this year’s Rose Parade.
However this is not a first for the Marietta high school band. Lassiter’s Marching Trojan Band has made appearance in 1988, 2001, and 2005 Tournament of Roses Parades.
Another Metro Atlanta band taking to the streets in a New Year’s Day parade was the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band. The Redcoats high stepped through the Orlando rain during the 2013 Citrus Bowl Parade. The parade featured the marching band rivals of the Capital One Bowl: The Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference and the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Ten Conference.
Oh, and by the way, Georgia was victories over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl – 45 to 31.
Metro Atlanta bands are not just making their mark on national New Year’s Day parades, but high school bands are proudly showcasing their skills across the waters as well. Gwinnett County’s Mill Creek High’s 2012 Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band has received a royal invitation from Queen Elizabeth. The Mill Creek Marching Band will be spending some time this year preparing to participate in the London’s New Year’s Day Parade on Jan. 1, 2014. Under the direction of band Director, Erik Mason, this is the Marching Prides’ second royal invite to London’s New Year’s Day Parade. The Mill Creek students made America proud when they performed in London the 2010.
In addition to making an appearance in the 2014 New Year’s Day Parade in London, the students also have been invited to star in two holiday events in Italy. Mill Creek High also received hand delivered invitations from the Queen’s representative from the mayors of Rome and Frascati, where the two holiday events will take place on Dec. 29 and 30.
The marching band students will be part of more than 10,000 performers from around the world invited to London to entertain a street audience of around 500,000, and a global television audience of tens of millions. The Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band will be featured live on television as it makes its way down the 2.2 mile historic parade route.
During their visit to Europe, the student musicians will also have the opportunity to visit museums, galleries, and historic sites in both London and Rome.