Heritage High band invited to perform at prestigious Rome parade

Posted: November 6, 2023

Heritage High School's marching band was invited to participate in the prestigious Rome New Year's Day Parade and Festival on January 1, 2025.

The event is integrated as an important part of the City of Rome's celebration of the New Year, according to organizers. It will be live-streamed worldwide.

"The students and I are extremely excited to accept this prestigious invitation to participate in the 2025 Rome New Year's Day Parade," said Heritage High Band Director Jemere Brown. "Getting the opportunity to perform in and outside of our community is something our students enjoy. The opportunity to do what we love in a country across the ocean only amplifies this.

"Being able to perform in and explore one of the most historic countries in the world is a dream come true."

To prepare for the performance, the band is practicing music and marching five days a week, according to Brown. They practice marching in parade formation, marching and playing their instruments, learning new music and cardio exercises to build stamina.

The Heritage band and other invited musicians will have an immersive week in the Eternal City that is Rome performing in the parade and participating in a full educational program of visiting museums, historic sites, and places of architectural and artistic interest.

The Rome Parade typically features thousands of performers from all corners of the globe entertaining a street audience of around 250,000, according to organizers. It is the only such event officially recognized by and partnered with the City of Rome, and given permission to incorporate the most treasured areas of the ancient city such as Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps.

Students are fundraising for the trip with Krispy Kreme sells, double good popcorn sales and donation pledge forms. Donations may be addressed to Heritage High School Band and sent to the school address at 5800 Marshall Ave., Newport News, Virginia, 23605.

"We are also always accepting donations from anyone who finds it in their heart to give," Brown said.