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Buford college students get invitation of a lifetime

Two teams of scholars from Buford Excessive Faculty bought an invite of a lifetime when dignitaries from London, England visited the varsity on Tuesday morning, Oct. 18.

Again row (L-R) is Dr. Chris Fowler, BCS Positive Arts Coordinator; Erik Mason, BHS Band Director; Duncan Sandys, Senior Patron and former Lord Mayor of Westminster and Jonathan Whaley, Director of Worldwide Participation for LYNDP. Entrance Row (L-R) Bridget Wildes, BHS Assistant Band Director; Bruce Fricks, Vice-Chairman of the Buford Board of Training and Bob Bone, Chairman of the LYNDP. Picture by Alicia Payne

The dignitaries have been visiting Buford Excessive Faculty on behalf of London’s New 12 months’s Day Parade or LYNDP. Bob Bone, Chairman of the LYNDP; Duncan Sandys, Senior Patron and former Lord Mayor of Westminster and Jonathan Whaley, Director of Worldwide Participation for LYNDP got here to the varsity to increase formal invites to the BHS Band of Wolves and Chamber Refrain to take part within the 2024 London’s New 12 months’s Day Parade and the London Worldwide Choral Competition.

“Our marching band and choral college students have been introduced an unbelievable alternative with an invite to carry out in London, England,” mentioned Melanie Reed, superintendent of Buford Metropolis Colleges. “Any time our college students could be highlighted not simply nationally, however internationally, it’s a distinguished honor. That is one other instance of how Buford Metropolis Colleges stands behind its mission assertion “to empower all college students to turn out to be globally aggressive, important thinkers, progressive downside solvers, accountable people, and productive residents.”

The London dignitaries got a tour of the BHS campus. Picture by Alicia Payne.

The dignitaries got a tour of the Buford Excessive Faculty campus by band college students, Audrey Zachman, Caleb Terry and Janel Sifuentes, in addition to Justin Johnson, assistant principal. 

The gents have been then taken right down to one of many sports activities fields to be handled to a stellar efficiency of the band’s 2022-2023 competitors routine, “Motherboard.” 

Following the band efficiency, the BHS Chamber Refrain accompanied on the piano by Dr. Chris Fowler, BCS Positive Arts Coordinator, sang a beautiful rendition of the primary motion of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” which earned excessive reward from the dignitaries. 

The BHS Chamber Refrain carried out for the dignitaries on the BHS Performing Arts Middle on Tuesday morning. Picture by Alicia Payne

“It at all times feels great to obtain compliments from anybody, however I’m particularly glad my college students have been in a position to hear from another person, notably somebody from so far-off, that what they’re doing is high quality work that they are often pleased with,” mentioned Taylor Greer, choral director at Buford Excessive Faculty.

Mr. Bone advised the scholars that they might be performing in entrance of 750,000 spectators that line the parade route in London and to a worldwide tv viewers of 350 million individuals. The London’s New 12 months’s Day Parade is claimed to be twice the dimensions of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York Metropolis.

BHS Choral Director, Taylor Greer was introduced with the formal invitation by Duncan Sandys, Senior Patron and former Lord Mayor of Westminster. Picture by Alicia Payne.

Along with the parade, the band and refrain will carry out at numerous live performance venues across the metropolis of London through the time that they’re visiting, which can be simply after Christmas 2023 and returning after New 12 months’s 2024.

The formal invitation to carry out in London was introduced by Mr. Sandys who’s the nice grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Nice Britain. Sandys introduced the formal invitation to each Erik Mason, BHS band director and to Mr. Greer.

We’re extremely honored for our college students to have this life altering alternative,” mentioned Dr. Fowler. “It’s a tribute to their exhausting work and the excellence that Mr. Mason, Mrs. Wildes, and Mr. Greer instill in them every day.”

BCS Positive Arts Coordinator, Dr. Chris Fowler gave just a few remarks in regards to the nice honor that the LNYDP has given the varsity. Picture by Alicia Payne.

Bridget (Wildes, assistant band director) and I consider that our major job for these college students is to show them how you can be nice individuals and to supply them with experiences to make that occur,” mentioned Mason. “The possibility to journey and see different cultures and their historical past, in addition to the chance to carry out on such an enormous stage is an expertise like no different for these college students.”

In accordance with Mason, the invitation to carry out in London began with the worldwide expertise scouts at LYNDP scouring america for the perfect bands. American highschool marching bands are some of the requested performers yr in and yr out, says Bone. The band needed to fill out an software to contemplate them for the parade. The Band of Wolves made the minimize and thru the band, the refrain was invited as nicely.

The band which has been underneath the route of Mason because the starting of the 2020-2021 college yr has nearly doubled in measurement going from 82 members final yr to 155 members this yr. The band will develop in measurement much more earlier than the London journey as an increasing number of college students decide up an instrument in center college.

At the moment, the Chamber Refrain is 115 members robust and all 115 members are eligible to make the journey to London as will any rising ninth grader who’s concerned with the refrain.

There may be nonetheless a number of exhausting work to do earlier than the band and refrain depart for London on the finish of 2023. There can be numerous hours of apply to verify they hit all the best notes and nail the choreography. 

To many of those college students, this journey can be their as soon as in a lifetime likelihood to journey to a overseas nation and have this kind of expertise.

The Buford Band of Wolves performing “Motherboard” for the dignitaries on Tuesday morning at BHS. Picture by Alicia Payne.

I come from a proud however much less lucky Mexican household. After I was a child I’d at all times dream of touring to someplace the world over however I knew I’ll not ever get that have,” mentioned Janel Sifuentes, a BHS junior and band member. “Now I’ve the chance to go to London throughout some of the essential days of the season with the group of people who I owe a lot of my progress to.”

The journey won’t be low cost as airfare, lodge rooms, meals and extra will should be lined. The band and refrain can be doing a number of fundraising between every now and then to lift the required cash. 

“Now we have many college students for whom elevating that sum of money can be an enormous problem,” mentioned Mason. “We hope that the Buford neighborhood will step in and assist us get these college students to Europe.” 

Anybody wishing to assist the band and refrain college students elevate the funds wanted to get to London is requested to contact Erik Mason or Brandon Scott at the highschool.

For extra details about London’s New 12 months’s Day Parade and Competition click on right here to go to their web site. 

To remain updated with the Buford Band of Wolves, go to their Fb web page at

FEATURED PHOTO:  The Buford Excessive Faculty Band of Wolves is performing “Motherboard” for dignitaries with the London New 12 months’s Day Parade and Competition on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Buford Excessive Faculty. Picture by Alicia Payne.


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