Norfolk, Va. – The Marching Monarchs, Old Dominion University’s marching band and Christopher Newport University’s Marching Captains are two of four American college bands invited to participate in Dublin’s 2016 St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.
The parade is a highlight of a four-day celebration in Dublin, Ireland.
Both bands left from Norfolk earlier in the week.
The Marching Monarchs also will play in the International Band Championship in Limerick on March 20 before heading home.
ODU says they applied to play in this year’s parade which is the 100th anniversary of seminal events that led to the founding of the Irish Republic.
Alex Treviño and Dennis Zeisler, director of the ODU bands, attended last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival Parade and received their official invitation there from Christy Burke, lord mayor of Dublin.
“I’m from San Antonio, where they have Fiesta Week every year, a celebration of the city and the culture, and everybody is just really excited to show their pride,” Treviño said. “That’s exactly what I felt even before the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade started, looking at the people lining the streets, everybody wearing green, decorated with hats and necklaces and just ready to be excited and entertained.”
The Monarch Marching Band was founded by Treviño in 2008 . It performs regularly at football and basketball games and also supports other athletic teams on a limited basis. The band also performs at numerous festivals, and was awarded “Best Marching Band” in 2013 and ’14 for the Grand Illumination Parade in downtown Norfolk.