(To the tune of Yankee Doodle)

"SFA is goin' to London, but not to ride the ponies."  It's true.  No less than Queen Elizabeth II of England herself has invited the Stephen F. Austin State University Marching Band to march in London's 2013 New Year's Day Parade.


Lord Roger Bramble, Lord Lieutenancy of Greater London came to Nacogdoches to deliver the invitation in person, asking the Lumberjack Band to perform in London's legendary New Year's Parade 15 months from now.

Bramble says this parade is huge. "It's over 10-thousand participating, 3 quarters of a million people watching on the streets. It's going out (on the telly) to 250 odd million."

How do the band members feel about this?  Stupid question.  They're stunned by this opportunity. SFA Band Director David Campo says "It's frankly very overwhelming."

This will be the experience of a lifetime for these young people.  The parade starts outside the famous Ritz Hotel, and the route will take them through some of the most famous streets in the world.

They'll march around Piccadilly Circus, through Waterloo Place, Pall Mall near Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, and end up at Parliament Square outside both houses of the British Parliament.

The band will have to pay its own way to London, and that's going to make it a very expensive trip.  Campo hopes to take around 300 students and alumni, at a cost of about $3000 each.  Do the math. That comes to almost a million dollars.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the cause can contact the SFA Marketing and Public Relations office.

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