Marching Monarchs of Newport News headed to London for New Year’s Parade

The Marching Monarchs of Newport News will be performing for royalty next year after the Lord Mayor of London invited the Menchville High School marching band and chorus to perform in the New Year’s Day parade.

The Lord Mayor of London hand-delivered the invitation to the marching band Tuesday morning to participate in London’s New Year’s Day parade in 2014.

“It’s an honor, especially for someone in the government to come to Newport News,” said J.D. Grizzle, a senior at the high school.

It’s not the first time the Menchville High School marching band and chorus group has traveled across the Atlantic to participate in the London parade. But this will be the second time in five years to play in the annual parade.

“At Menchville, we do it [play music] because we love it. I think the people in London saw that, picked us and invited us to come,” the junior, Clinton Stroble II said.

More than 50 students and their instruments will make the trip to perform in front of thousands of revealers in one of the world’s oldest cities. Along the way, the group will march in front of the most famous landmarks in London, like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

The students will be among nearly 10,000 participants in the parade which is double the size of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

“They could have picked any band in our area or the country and they picked Menchville,” said Christian Mitchell, a junior. “This just shows our hard work pays off and coming into play,” Mitchell added.

The marching band and chorus group will spend the next year raising money to pay for the trip. It’s been estimated to cost each student about $2,500 for the four-day trip.