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McMurry Band Accepts Invitation To London

McMurry University accepts official invitation to London from Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys Thursday, February 26, 2015 at McMurry University.
McMurry University accepts official invitation to London from Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys Thursday, February 26, 2015 at McMurry University. (Photo by Joy Lewis)

The McMurry War Hawks marching band will be performing for London's New Year Parade in 2016.

On Thursday, McMurry University was officially invited to go to London from Lord Mayor of Westminster Duncan Sandys.

"The parade looks for quality and you find quality not just in big cities, you find quality all over the place," Sandys said.

Mayor Sandys said England has no marching bands and that the audience is looking forward to hearing a marching band from the United States.

McMurry students will have to fund the travel cost to London which is a little more than $100,000. McMurry Band Director David Robinson said it will take a community effort to raise the money.

"This is something that we're doing not only for us and our university, but for Abilene at large. So that we can take our show to show the U.K. what West Texas is all about," Robinson said.

The New Year Parade expects a crowd of 500,000 and a television audience of 300 million internationally.

McMurry students are looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in London. Brantley Fleming, of Eastland, is majoring in history at McMurry. He said he's humbled and honored to be invited.

"As someone who has rarely ever been outside of Texas, this is also especially heart warming," Flemings said.

The band will be practicing until December for their performance in London next year.