During the band’s history, the group has appeared at such auspicious events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Fiesta Bowl Parade, the Annual NATO Parade of Nations, and the Presidential Inaugural Parade. However, this international opportunity might just be the biggest “feather in their cap.”
“This is our invitation launch for the trip,” said band director Michael Broyles before the performance and formal announcement. “We’ve got a long ways to go on that [fundraising] and, hopefully, this gets us started on the right foot with the community support that we need.”
Broyles said the experience would allow the band to perform for about half a million people. He said the internationally televised event is seen by about 300 million viewers.
Gavin Vore plays base drum in the band. His parents were on hand for the trip announcement.
“I think it’s pretty exciting,” said father Jeremy Vore. “I think it’s an opportunity most parents shouldn’t pass up. We are going to try really hard to chaperone it. We will bring our daughter along, too.”
Broyles said he reached out to parade organizers, telling them the band would be interested in attending the New Year’s Day shindig.
“It seems like this will be quite a groundbreaking for the school,” said Jonathan Whaley, Youth Music of the World senior director of international participation.
‘We’ve got consultants all over the States,” said Bob Bone, executive director of London’s New Year’s Day Parade. “The one who recommended this band to us is in Riverside, California, a guy called Gary Locke. He ran the best marching band in the United States of America for 32 years, Riverside Marching Tigers.”
Bone explained that Locke has former pupils working in Northern Nevada and word got around about the Band of Indians.
“We looked at some YouTube stuff to convince ourselves and we are very happy,” Bone said.
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The band entered the old gym at the high school, watched by numerous parents and well-wishers. Members played a few of their classic hits before taking their seats. The students knew this was a big deal, but they had no idea they were going to be invited to England.
Broyles took the podium first, explaining what the evening would entail without giving away pertinent details.
“Without further ado, we are going to have a few people speak on behalf of the band to share with our guests how important this band is to the community of Elko, how important these students are to us, and how hard they work for what they do,” Broyles said.
“The band is a tremendous source of pride,” said Mayor Reece Keener. “Just on Monday they were in our Veterans Day Parade. “We always look forward to their performances.”
“I hope my accent isn’t giving anything away about where we are from,” Whales said. “I know that we are going to give everybody who embarks upon this new adventure the performance, educational and cultural experience of a lifetime that people will never, ever forget.”
Band members cheered the announcement, grins a mile wide.
The “Pride of Nevada” was chosen from many bands in the country. In all, 10 American high school bands play in the parade each year. The students will be in London for an entire week.
“Macy’s has maybe just over 4,000 participants every year” Bone said. “It’s a very proud boast for us to say that we in London are twice as big as a parade in a city that calls itself the ‘Big Apple.’”
Bone described the parade route, saying it will start at Piccadilly Circus and end in Parliament Square.
“Every step that you take, you’ve got something fantastic to look at along the way,” he said.
Michael Broyles at rehearsal with the Elko High School drum line
Elko High School marching band trumpet section rehearses
Elko High School cymbalists
EHS bass drum rehearsal
Elko High School clarinet section rehearses
Elko High School color guard rehearses
Elko High School marching band saxophonists
Elko High School Band of Indians perform at the Memorial Day ceremony
Elko County Fair Parade
Elko High School marching band
“We give you a whole week in London to soak up the culture, the history, and meet a lot of very, very friendly people,” Bone said. “If you participate in our parade you are going to be super popular.”
“By the way, the food these days you don’t need to worry about that,” Bone said. “We don’t force you to eat steak and kidney pudding and things like that.”