The executive director of the London New Year's Day Parade knows a good thing when he hears it. And so do the thousands of parade-goers.
That's why Robert Bone, his wife and co-director, Geri Bone, and Councillor Catherine Longworth, Former Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster were at Dulaney High School Monday morning to extend an invitation to Dulaney High Marching Band and Dulaney Wind Ensemble from the Timonium high school to play in its 2015 parade.
This will be the second time the Dulaney bands will play the parade; the first time was in 2011. Bone said last year's parade was attended last year by more than 600,000 people and broadcast all over the world.
The ensembles gave their guests from London a preview of what to expect next winter. The school's chamber choir opened the performance with a rendition of the alma mater before the string ensemble performed Henry Fillmore's "Americans We" and the marching band and color guard performed songs from the James Bond films.
In his remarks after a performance by the school's groups, Bone said the group targets American marching bands because the audience clamors for them.
"They come to see you because you, marching bands from the United States of America, are the most popular thing we have in the parade," Bone said.
The London trip is not the first invitation Dulaney has gotten to perform elsewhere.
Last January, the band performed at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans and assistant drum major Xaria Crawford said the high-profile performances have been a major draw in recruiting new members to the band.
"I think that a lot of people are interested in marching band because they see that we do a lot of cool things," Crawford, 16, said. "A lot of people graduated last year, but we had a lot of freshmen come in because we're going to London. They're really excited for that."
Crawford said the trip to London will be her first, and she's looking forward to everything from the culture and storied performance venues to the traditional afternoon tea.
Band director Barry Chesky said fundraising for the trip will begin immediately.
"The students will have to fundraise or pay if they don't fundraise to get to go on the trip," Chesky said. "The financial preparation begins now. The music preparation will actually be next summer."