SRU marching band ready to perform at London’s New Year’s Day Parade


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Members of the Slippery Rock University marching band load their gear for their trip to London, Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, to perform in London’s New Year’s Day Parade.

Dec. 15, 2023

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — The Marching Pride will be ready to ring in the new year when Big Ben strikes 12. Slippery Rock University's marching band will perform in London's New Year's Day Parade, at noon (7 a.m., Eastern Time) on Jan. 1. More than 140 members of the Marching Pride and staff are traveling to England's capital city, Dec. 28 to Jan. 3, after SRU's band was selected to perform in one of world's largest New Year's Day parades.

SRU is one of nearly 100 acts to participate in the annual parade through the streets of London. As one of the 28 bands from overseas, SRU will be marching in front of more than 500,000 spectators and tens of millions of television viewers, including those watching on PBS in the United States.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students, not only to travel overseas with your closest friends, but to showcase your talents for the world," said Jonathan Helmick, associate professor of music and director of the Marching Pride. "Receiving this invitation really shows that SRU and our Music Department have an international reputation."

The last time the Marching Pride performed on the international stage was at the 2019 St. Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin, Ireland, but none of the current students were part of that trip.

The two-mile route for London's New Year's Day Parade starts on Piccadilly and passes Regents Street St James's, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall before reaching Parliament Square near the Palace of Westminster and its iconic clock tower, Big Ben.

The Marching Pride, which has been training for the parade for months, will perform the SRU fight song, the theme from "Rocky," and, for their finale performance, "Make Me Smile," a tune made famous by the rock band Chicago.

While in London, members of the Marching Pride will have the opportunity to visit many of the popular tourist destinations, including Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and more. The trip is organized through Performance Travel Ltd.

Updates and photos from the Marching Pride's trip will be posted on SRU's Facebook page. There's also a news story and video online from 2022 when SRU was first invited by parade officials.

More information about The Marching Pride is available on the Music Department webpage. More information about the LNYDP is available at

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