The parade is the principal event of the four-day St. Patrick’s Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts event. More than 500,000 people view the parade on the streets of Dublin and thousands more watch on television. Northwestern State’s band received an invitation after Festival officials watched a video of a past performance and reviewed information about the program. The LSU and University of Illinois bands marched in the 2014 parade.
“This will be an outstanding opportunity for our students to be part of a unique event they will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Northwestern State Director of Bands Dr. Jeff Mathews. “I think international travel is an education in itself and I want students in the band to have a chance to experience that while they are in college.”
The band will travel from March 15 – 22 and will also perform at the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 19. Northwestern State alumni, faculty staff and friends are invited to join the band for the trip. For more information, contact Mathews at (318) 357-4450 or at mathewsj@ nsula.edu.
The trip is optional for band members. No band or university funding is provided and the cost is being paid for by individual band members. NSU’s band program will receive no financial benefit from the trip.
“Travelling to Ireland will grow the visibility of our program and enhance our recruiting on a regional, state and international level,” said Mathews.
Northwestern State band’s last European performance was in the 2011 New Year’s Day Festival and Parade in London. The band was a finalist for the 2011 Sudler Trophy, an award to identify and recognize collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life.
Northwestern’s band was named one of the top eight in the country by a college-oriented website.