The Evans High School Marching Band went to perform in London for its New Year's Day Parade. (WRDW-TV / Jan. 6, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Friday, Jan. 6, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- It's back to work on Friday in the band room at Evans High School.
These teenagers just got home from a week-long trip to London after performing in the annual London New Year's Day Parade.
"I felt special ... I felt like we were part of a really professional group," said senior alto saxophone player Rachel Clay.
Cassie Dowling, senior majorette, agreed.
"People come up saying, 'Can I take a picture with you?' I felt really like a celebrity over there," she said.
Band Director Reid Hall says the streets were lined 15 to 20 people deep for miles.
"They love having the American kids and the American bands because they just don't have that kind of thing there," Hall said. "We kind of take parades for granted here because we, of course, do them so much here but that's not something they're used to seeing ... and the British love it."
The students said they didn't know how important it was until they got there.
"You saw it on billboards and I was like, 'Oh my gosh this is a really big deal.' That's a great honor to be a part of it," Dowling said.
But it wasn't all marching and music. The students did get to fit in some sightseeing and even learn a few things.
"I didn't expect to learn as much as I did. It's different than textbooks, it's a lot different," Clay said.
For these students, it's a trip they'll simply never forget.
"I mean to sum it all up ... it was just breathtaking," Clay said.
Hall said the most memorable moment for her was just as the band came to the end of the parade route, the chimes at Westminster Abbey started ringing. She said the timing was just perfect.
This was the fifth year the school has been invited to the event since 1991.