Dignitaries Arriving From London With Special Invitation For WHS Band

A party of British dignitaries will travel to Wellington next week to deliver a special invitation to some talented young musicians.

The visit will culminate with a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to invite the Wellington High School Marching Band to participate in London’s New Year’s Day Parade — one of the world’s great street spectaculars.

Event co-founder and Executive Director Bob Bone heads the prestigious party. He will be accompanied by Steve Summers, who has held high office in London and is a former president and special envoy of the London Mayor’s Association, and Jonathan Whaley, the parade’s senior director of international participation.

Summers, a senior patron of the parade, has been a lord mayor of a London borough and held a number of council borough cabinet posts, with a particular emphasis on the arts, leisure and sport. He himself has participated in numerous parades.

The highly prestigious turn-of-year tradition is established as the biggest event of its kind anywhere in the world. The 2021 event will be the 35th in the parade’s history.

More than 8,000 performers from all corners of the globe entertain a street audience of around 500,000 — and a global TV audience of tens of millions.

This year, the parade was streamed live to more than 220 TV stations across the United States.

The Wellington High School Marching Band’s performance will be made available to stations in the U.S. via PBS and will be streamed live around the world.

“We are so excited for these kids, many of whom have never traveled outside the country,” said Claire Rosen, president of the Wolverine Band Boosters Association. “This really is a chance of a lifetime.”

Wellington High School Band Director Mary Oser agreed that it is a great honor.

“I am so proud of this group of amazing kids for earning this achievement,” she said.

The invitation ceremony with the British delegation will be held at Wellington High School (2101 Greenview Shores Blvd., Wellington) at 10 a.m.

“We can’t wait to see the band in London,” Bone said. “London just loves the USA, so the warmest of welcomes awaits them.”