By Allie Crane
On March 17, more than half a million people will flood the streets of Dublin to catch a glimpse of the city’s famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Among the sights passing through the green masses will be flashes of purple and gold.
After a competitive selection process last year, the LSU Tiger Marching Band received a formal invitation from the Mayor of Dublin to march in the parade.
Each year we sift through many applications from bands from all over the world,” said Edelle Moss, Marketing and Development Director of the St. Patrick’s Festival, “and we were hugely impressed by LSU.”
After viewing footage of the band’s performances and discovering the history of the band, Moss said they knew they wanted them to join the parade.
“I am excited for our students,” Roy King, director of the LSU Tiger Band, said. “I am excited to see them embark on the entire LSU Tiger Band’s first international performance.”
Said Golden Girl Jaclyn Tisdale: “The pageantry of the LSU Tiger Band from Tigerland is something that could never be duplicated by any other college band.”
The Golden Band is an icon here in Baton Rouge for both the city and the University, and as a group, they’re ready to spread that tradition across the Atlantic.
“The band’s deep rooted traditions and popularity in the United States were the biggest proponents when choosing the Tiger Band from Tigerland to participate,” drum major Taylor Herpin said. “This is a hard working group of people that always perform to an excellent standard.”
Other members of the band, including color guards, shared their excitement about their first international performance.
“I cannot wait to be a part of this incredible experience in a different part of the world showing people what LSU is all about,” Color Guard Olivia King said.
The band held a meeting last week to regroup after the Mardi Gras break; however, they don’t plan on rehearsing in the days preceding their trip.
“We are mostly trying to get ahead in school and sleep,” said Herpin, “so we can enjoy ourselves and perform at our best level once we arrive in Ireland.”
The Tiger Band rehearsed their routine for the parade a few times, so now it’s all about being mentally prepared for choreography once they get there, Tisdale said.
“There’s not too much prep for my part in the Color Guard,” added King. “We have the privilege of doing what we do best while matching in step down the street.”
The band also is very proud to announce that no state funds are being used to finance this trip, King said.
The LSU Athletic Department is funding a large portion of the trip, and the Tiger Band raised the rest of the funding from their Tigerama performance.
During their free time the band plans to take the streets of Ireland in true tourist fashion by visiting as many restaurants and sites as they can.
Some members said they plan on seeing the Cliffs of Moher, while others are going to see some of the famous sites such as the Guinness Factory.
Many of the band members said it will be their first time out of the country, so they are excited to immerse themselves in Ireland’s culture.
While this will be the first international performance with all 325 members of the Tiger Band, some members of the band will be making their second trip across seas. In 2011, the Golden Girls ventured to Hong Kong to perform in the Chinese New Year Celebration.
All the members of the band are looking forward to traveling with the each other and experiencing a different culture while showing the people in Ireland what the Tiger Band is all about.
“I am confident the Tiger Band will represent LSU, the great State of Louisiana, and the United States in the finest manner,” King said. “Our ‘Down the Hill’ performance that excites many LSU fans is something we hope the folks in Ireland will enjoy.”
The parade will be held on March 17 starting at 12pm. Live streaming of the parade will be available at www.rte.ie.
It is estimated that in addition to those attending the parade, thousands more around the world will watch the parade live on TV.
“The Festival parade is a performance based parade in which the soundtrack is provided by rousing performances from marching bands all around the world,” said Moss. “Ireland’s leading street theatre and pageant companies respond to an annual theme and captivate the audience with their inimitable creations.
“I know everyone watching the parade will be greatly impressed with LSU,” Moss added, “and we cant wait to see them in action.”