Central High School Band Will March in London
Members of the Blue Devils Marching Band from Davenport Central High School boarded buses Tuesday morning, to start their trip to England to play in London's New Year's Day Parade. 177 people will make the trip, including 109 students.
Director of Bands, Alex Wilga, says the band was invited based on its past performances in competitions and its video audition.
"There aren't soccer marching bands in the United Kingdom. Football in the US has been the showcase for marching bands so we do things a lot differently, there's a lot more involved to what we do versus what they're accustomed to in Europe."
In addition to marching through London on New Year's Day with thousands of other performers, band members will visit several tourist sites.
Wilga is looking forward to having the students visit what he calls "a historic city of the world."
"We think Davenport Central is old, the band program is old - we've been around since the 1860's. They're going to see a part of the city of London that was originally built by the Romans when they came up the river Thames in 200 BCE."
He says up to one million people will line the nearly two mile parade route through London, with an estimated television audience of 150-300 million.
The parade will carried in the Quad Cities on WQPT-tv.