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Gadsden Band wows the crowds in London
Click here to see more photos of Gadsden Band's performance in London, courtesy of the London New Year's Day Parade
Gadsden Elementary School Band performed in London's 2013 New Year's Day parade Tuesday before crowds of over 500,000 spectators.
According to a press release from the London New Year's Day Parade, 6,000 performers from numerous nations – including entries from more than 18 London boroughs – produced more than three hours of entertainment.
Executive Director Bob Bone hailed the event as the best in its history.
“I think in all honesty it was the best parade since we began 27 years ago. Some of the entries were simply stunning,” said Bone.
Officials at Gadsden Elementary School District are grateful to the community for helping the band raise the money necessary to make the trip to perform in the parade.
“We are indebted to the community,” said Dr. Raymond Aguilera, superintendent of Gadsden Elementary School District.
“We had a lot of contributions from throughout the county, but my hat is really off to the parents who really stepped forward and did the majority of the fundraising themselves. This is a once in a lifetime (event) for this group of kids, for sure.”
Fundraising began last spring after the band received an invitation to perform in London's New Year's Day Parade. Duncan Sandys, the former lord mayor of Westminster, came to Southwest Junior High School last February to deliver the formal invitation for the 27th annual parade.
“The new year's parade is the biggest event in our city,” said Sandys during a ceremony that packed the school's gym with students and band members. “We are very proud of it, and the 27th annual parade is a great way to begin 2013.
“You will be bringing a part of America to the streets of London. Talent such as yours is crucial to the parade.”
The invitation was one in a series of recent accolades for the band composed of fifth- through eighth-grade students, who previously appeared in the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade in 2011.