Home » WKU Big Red Marching Band invited to be in Britain’s biggest parade 

WKU Big Red Marching Band invited to be in Britain’s biggest parade 

Over 500,000 attend annual London New Year’s Day Parade
Western Kentucky University Big Red March Band has 270 members

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU Big Red Marching Band has received an invitation to perform in the 2025 London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP). 

The LNYDP is equivalent to the renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with over 500,000 people in attendance annually. The parade is also televised on PBS to over 500 million people, reaching approximately 82% of U.S. television markets. 

On Monday, September 18, an official entourage consisting of former Lord Mayor for the city of Westminster and founding patron of LNYDP, Roger Bramble, the Senior Patron and President of the London Mayors Association, the Chairman of the LNYDP, his aide-de-camp, and Senior Director of International Participation for LNYDP, Bill Northen, arrived at the Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium to present Dr. Gary Schallert, Dr. Matthew McCurry, and members of the WKU Big Red Marching Band with the official performance invitation. 

“We are so excited for our students and our band to be presented with this amazing opportunity to travel and take the name of Western Kentucky University and the WKU Big Red Marching Band to a whole new level,” says Dr. Matthew McCurry, Director of Athletic Bands and Associate Director of Bands. “We have worked really hard to put the Big Red Marching Band in the spotlight on a national stage and have our students be recognized for the fantastic work that they do.”  

This invitation coincides with a landmark year for the WKU Big Red Marching Band. 2025 marks the 100th anniversary of the WKU Band program. 

“It will be exciting to step off the centenary year by marching in the London New Year’s Day Parade.” says Dr. Gary Schallert, director of bands. 

Dr. Schallert and Dr. McCurry have participated in previous LNYDP festivities. Dr. Schallert performed at the inaugural LNYDP in 1987 with the New Mexico State University Marching Band, while Dr. McCurry took the Carter High School Marching Band to the celebration in 2010. Bramble mentioned Dr. Schallert’s connection to LNYDP in his video message to the band. 

“We are hoping that Gary Schallert, with many years of experience with this parade, will influence you young people to come over and make joy in 2025,” Bramble said. “It will be a huge joy to us to welcome you.”

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