Longhorns in London: Alumni Band Invited to Perform in UK Parade

Alumni Band

UT’s Longhorn Alumni Band had a lot to celebrate this past weekend. Not only did the band reunite for its 50th Band Day anniversary to kick off the new football season, but it was also invited to participate in the annual New Year’s Day Parade in London.

“It is a tremendous honor to be invited to the Queen’s New Years Day Parade,” says band president Eddie Lopez, BM ’08, Life Member. “To think that the Longhorn Alumni Band will be traveling across the pond to perform for the Queen is quite something!”

The band was formed in 1964 with fewer than 70 members. Today, boasting what it calls the biggest alumni band association in the world with 3,000 members, the Longhorn Alumni Band is hoping to break the record for the largest band to participate in the parade. The record stands at a 415-member band. The Longhorn Alumni Band hopes to bring more than 600 of its members to London.

“We still haven’t decided on an official uniform since the weather is definitely going to be a little different than in Texas, but we are planning to wear as much burnt orange as possible,” Lopez says. “We’ll be looking for donations and more for our members to make this trip possible.”

The invitation was delivered to the band by Duncan Sandys, former lord mayor of Westminster and great-grandson of Winston Churchill. The parade’s delegates spend the first half of each year searching for and recruiting nearly 10,000 performers from around the world. The parade, which will be celebrating its 28th consecutive year this New Year’s Day, is a massive event with an audience of half a million viewers.

In full royal attire, Sandys presented the band with a formal invitation saying, “We have people who go out to find the best marching bands in the country, and the Longhorn Alumni Band is the best we’ve found.”

In a personal note to the band, Coach Mack Brown congratulated members on their 50 years of dutiful spirit, calling them the “best alumni band in America,” and saying, “You’re more appreciated than you know. Thank you for all that you do for Longhorn football.”


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