Facebook Pixel 2025 London New Year's Day Parade | Western Kentucky University
Big Red takes on Big Ben

Invitation Accepted

Sept 15

Nobody Suspects a Thing

The BRMB returns from a great trip to Ohio State University!

Sept 16 | 3:15p

Photo Time

The BRMB is asked to come to rehearsal dressed in Summer Uniform for a "photo opportunity."  Little did they know what was awaiting them!

Sept 16 | 3:20

Rehearsal Begins

THE BRMB arrived to the stadium to find a stage and many photographers and news media wondering around ... somethings up!  Rehearsal begins as usual around the ladder with warm-ups.

Sept 16 | 3:25

The Platform Party Arrives

While the band is warming up, a large group of VIPs including the President, PCAL Dean, Department Chairs, and the London Travel Party arrives at the stadium.

Sept 16 | 3:30

SUPRISE!

Dr. McCurry & Dr. Schallert begin the program and Robert Bone let's the cat out of the bag! SURPRISE!!

We're going to LONDON!

 

The Invitation

London Beefeater

London Big Ben

London Phone Booth


2025 London New Year's Day Parade - BRMB


Big Red takes on Big Ben -- January 1, 2025!


The WKU Big Red Marching Band has received an invitation to perform in the 2025 London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP).

The LNYDP is equivalent to the renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with over 500,000 people in attendance annually. The parade is also televised on PBS to over 500 million people, reaching approximately 82% of U.S. television markets.

On Monday, September 18, an official entourage consisting of former Lord Mayor for the city of Westminster and founding patron of LNYDP, Roger Bramble, the Senior Patron and President of the London Mayors Association, the Chairman of the LNYDP, his aide-de-camp, and Senior Director of International Participation for LNYDP, Bill Northen, arrived at the Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium to present Dr. Gary Schallert, Dr. Matthew McCurry, and members of the WKU Big Red Marching Band with the official performance invitation.

“We are so excited for our students and our band to be presented with this amazing opportunity to travel and take the name of Western Kentucky University and the WKU Big Red Marching Band to a whole new level,” says Dr. Matthew McCurry, Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Director of Bands. “We have worked really hard to put the Big Red Marching Band in the spotlight on a national stage and have our students be recognized for the fantastic work that they do.”

This invitation coincides with a landmark year for the WKU Big Red Marching Band. 2025 marks the 100th anniversary of the WKU Band program.

“It will be exciting to step off the centenary year by marching in the London New Year’s Day Parade.” says Dr. Gary Schallert, Director of Bands.

Dr. Schallert and Dr. McCurry have participated in previous LNYDP festivities. Dr. Schallert performed at the inaugural LNYDP in 1987 with the New Mexico State University Marching Band, while Dr. McCurry took the Carter High School Marching Band to the celebration in 2010. Bramble mentioned Dr. Schallert’s connection to LNYDP in his video message to the band.

“We are hoping that Gary Schallert, with many years of experience with this parade, will influence you young people to come over and make joy in 2025,” said Bramble. “It will be a huge joy to us to welcome you.”

 

 

 


We were so excited to get the invitation to perform in the 2025 London New Year's Day Parade! The invitation was extended to all band members that were in attendance at the invitation ceremony, as well as future BRMB members.

In order to attend as a performer, you MUST be a registered member of the Big Red Marching Band class.

What does that mean for current seniors ('24)?
You are invited to go on the trip! You will need to register for MUS347 - Marching Band in order to be eliigible for scholarship monies to help offset the cost of the trip.
What if I am going to be a first-year student at WKU in 2024-25?
You are also invited to attend the trip!  There will be an intent form for you to fill out to indicate that you will be traveling with us.  Your scholarship opportunities will available when you start classes at WKU. Sign up for MUS347 and/or audition for MUS348 in Fall Semester 2024.
Are recent Band Alumni eligible to travel to London?
There will be an option for recent Band Alumni (2022-2024) to travel with us to London.  There is a slightly different travel package for those who will not be performing in the London New Year's Day Parade.  Please contact the Band Office for more information if you are interested in traveling as a Band Alumni. 
Can families of performers go on the trip?
Yes! You can travel with us as a non-performing member and participate in all of the same activities that we are scheduled for throughout the trip.  There is a slightly different travel package for family members.  Please contact the Band Office for more information.

 

The travel dates are based on the availability of airline tickets when they are purchased in February 2024.  The estimated travel dates are:

Departure
December 28, 2024
Return
January 4, 2025

 

We will have exact travel dates once the tickets have been purchased.

YES! A current, valid Passport will be required to participate in this trip.

If you already have a passport, check the expiration date.  Your passport must be good for at least 6 months after departure, or until July 2025.  If your passport expires before this date, you MUST apply for a new passport.  Start this process TODAY by clicking here.
If you do not yet have a passport, start the application process today!  Passports can take up to 6 months to receive.  Click here to start your passport application process.
Passport information is due to the London Office by September 15!  Don't delay in getting started with your passport application.

 

7 DAYS and 6 NIGHTS in LONDON, ENGLAND!

  • Roundtrip airfare to London Heathrow from either Nashville or Cincinnati International Airports, inclusive of one checked piece of luggage (50 lbs)
  • 6 nights accommodations in a first-class hotel in Central London
  • Group ground transportation for transfers and tours via first-class coach buses
  • Participation in London’s 39th New Year’s Day Parade and Festival
  • Performance in LNYDP Gala Concert in a prestigious London concert hall
  • 6 Breakfast Buffets / 3 Catered Dinners / 3 Dine-Out Dinner Cards (£20)
  • Parade Day Sack Lunch
  • Instrument/Equipment International Shipping / Storage
  • 1/2 Day Tour of London’s Historical West End
  • 1/2 Day Tour - Tower of London & Crown Jewels
  • Panoramic Boat Tour on the River Thames
  • 3/4 Day Tour of Windsor & Windsor Castle
  • 3/4 Day Tour of Oxford
  • Walking Tour Audio Guides (downloadable to personal devices)
  • Group Photograph
  • Parade Festival Medal for the 2024/25 LNYDP
  • Access Code to the full 3.5 hour TV production of the LNYDP

We have been working hard to finalize the cost of the trip and to find every possible way to reduce the financial responsibilty to the perfomer.  We will continue to find way's to reduce the performer's cost throughout the semester.  The University and Music Department are being very supportive in helping to make this trip happen and we will continue to work with the College Heights Foundation and others to make this trip as affordable as possible.  No matter what the cost, it will be an unbelievable deal for 7 days / 6 nights in London and the opportunity to perform in the London New Year's Day Parade!

As of January 2024, the trip cost for registered, performing members in based upon the following:

Origination Trip Cost
(Airfare, Land Programme)
for performing members
$  3,990.00
University Pledge
to each performing member
$ -1,000.00
Music Department Pledge
to each performing member
$   -400.00
Voluntary Amount Pledged from
2023-24 BRMB Scholarship
$ -1,000.00
or more
Voluntary Amount Pledged from
2024-25 BRMB Scholarship
$ -1,000.00
or more
Fund-raising Activities $  TBD
Sponsorship Activities $  TBD

 

This should help you determine your estimated financial responsibilty for participating in this trip.  It may be possible for you to attend this trip for much less than the cost of the Plane Ticket! 

 

Origination Trip Cost
(Airfare, Land Programme)
for NON-Performing members*

 

*the difference in cost between Performing and Non-Performing Members is based on performance entrances as a spectator, added motorcoach, and other price differenciations between performers and non-performers.

$  4,150.00

 

 

Download the London Intent Form

 

Once you have determined you will participate in this trip, please fill out the online LONDON TRIP INTENT FORM and let us know!

There will be a few things for which you will want to bring some extra monies.  Most importantly, lunch money for the days that we are there.  Breakfast and Dinners are included, lunches are on your own while we are traveling.  Lunch on Parade Day will be provided.

 

Souveniers
6 Lunches in London
Snacks / Sodas / Candy
Passport
Theatre Tickets (optional)
($60 - $200)
Taxi / Underground Fees in addition
to included amounts.

Upon completion of the LNYDP Trip, there is the option for a 3-day additional excursion to Paris, France via the Eurostar Train.  Instead of hopping on a plane back to the USA, spend an additional 3 days in Paris, France visiting landmark sights.

Trip inclusions:

  • Eurostar Train to Paris following LNYDP Trip
  • 3 Nights in 3-Star Paris Hotel
  • Motorcoach Transportation and Tour
  • Continental Breakfast Buffet Daily (3 meals)
  • Two included dinners near hotel
  • Two 1/2 day sightseeing tours in Paris
  • Entrance to the Eiffel Tower
  • Entrance to the Louvre Museum
  • Bateau Parisian Tour on the River Seine
  • Bilingual Tour Assistants
  • Cost differential between Round Trip London / Paris Flights from Charles de Gaulle to USA

This add-on is at an incredible price of only $750 per person (twin occupancy).

Yes! We will have fund-raisers beginning immediately in the Spring Semester ('24) to help performers offset the cost of the trip.  In cooperation with the College Heights Foundation and the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation, we will be actively looking for sponsorship for each part of the trip which will help offset participant costs.

Some fund-raising campaigns you will hear about in the near future:

 

LETTER WRITING SPONSORSHIP CAMPAIGN
Each performer will identify possible sponsors for the LNYDP trip.  Information will be collected and letters will be sent out asking for performer sponsorships.  Sponsors can elect to provide funding for one day in London, half-day in London, or a custom amount they would like to go to an individual performer.  Funds will go directly to reducing the cost for that individual performer. 
CORVETTE RAFFLE (pending approval)
Travelers will have the opportunity to participate in a unique Corvette Raffle in the Spring of 2024.  A portion of each ticket sold will be credited to that performer to help reduce cost.  More information coming soon!

BRMB NIGHTS AT LOCALRESTAURANTS
The BRMB will be parterning with local restaurants for "BRMB NIGHTS" where a portion of the nightly proceeds will go toward lowering the cost of each students finanancial responsibility.  Be sure to join us at each one of these nights!

CAMERO RAFFLE(in cooperation with the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation)
Travelers will have the opportunity to participate in the Annual Camero Raffle in Fall of 2024 by selling $10 Raffle Tickets.  A large portion of each ticket sold will be credited to that performer to help reduce travel cost.

 

1. SIgn up for MUS347-500 / MARCHING BAND for the Fall 2024 Semester

2. Fill out the Online London Trip Intent Form by clicking the button below.

Online London Intent Form
[closed February 8]

 

3. Pay the initial trip deposit of $200.00 by February 1. (incoming first-year students planning to attend will pay this in August)
4. Apply for your passport TODAY if needed. Click here to apply!
5. Start working on your packing list for London in December 2024/January 2025!

The payment schedule is now set.  The chart below shows the amount due for each payment date.  The second column shows what the balance of payments on your account balance should show.  You will receive regular account statements, please check the TOTAL PAYMENTS column against the amount that is due. 

LONDON ONLY - PERFORMING MEMBER
PAYMENT DATE PAYMENT AMOUNT TOTAL PAYMENT TO DATE
Feb 1 - Deposit $200.00 $200.00
March 1 $750.00 $950.00
May 1 $800.00 $1,750.00
August 1 $1,000.00 $2,750.00
November 1 $1,240.00  ** $3,990.00

 ** Final Payment TBD following fund-raising campaigns.

 

LONDON & PARIS - PERFORMING MEMBER
PAYMENT DATE PAYMENT AMOUNT TOTAL PAYMENT TO DATE
Feb 1 - Deposit $200.00 $200.00
March 1 $950.00 $1,150.00
May 1 $1,000.00 $2,150.00
August 1 $1,200.00 $3,350.00
November 1 $1,390.00  ** $4,740.00

 ** Final Payment TBD following fund-raising campaigns.

 

LONDON ONLY - NON-PERFORMING MEMBER
PAYMENT DATE PAYMENT AMOUNT TOTAL PAYMENT TO DATE
Feb 1 - Deposit $200.00 $200.00
May 1 $1,000.00 $1,200.00
August 1 $1,200.00 $2,400.00
November 1 $1,750.00 $4,150.00

 

 

LONDON & PARIS - NON-PERFORMING MEMBER
PAYMENT DATE PAYMENT AMOUNT TOTAL PAYMENT TO DATE
Feb 1 - Deposit $200.00 $200.00
May 1 $1,250.00 $1,450.00
August 1 $1,500.00 $2,950.00
November 1 $1,950.00 $4,900.00

 

Absolutely!  If you know someone in the band and would like to sponsor them, or if you just want to sponsor a deserving member of the Big Red Marching Band, please contact the band office!

Common Sponsorships are:
Full-Day in London, England [$400.00]
Half-Day in London, England [$200.00]
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for One Day in London, England [$75 / £60]
Custom Amount

We are also looking for sponsorship for some band activities while we are in London.  If you know of anyone who would like to sponsor any activities, please have them reach out or pass their information onto the WKU Band Office.

  • New London Marching Band Banner ($1,000)
  • Sponsor One Student's Trip to London ($4,000 per student)
  • Banquet Dinner (2) for the BRMB whilst in London ($6,000 each)
  • Admission to the Tower Of London for the BRMB [$9,000)
  • Transport of Instruments Overseas ($40,000)
Coming Soon!

Spread the word about this amazing opportunity for these students!  If you know of anyone who would lilke to help us reach our goals in getting to London, England, please have them contact us or put us in contact with them.  This is a HUGE endeavor, but will create memories that will last a lifetime!

Thank you for your support of the WKU Big Red Marching Band!

 


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 Last Modified 7/10/24