Dignitaries from London were at Shawnee Mission East this week to extend an invitation to the SM East Lancer band to perform in the city’s 2023 New Year’s Day Parade and Festival.
The band was officially invited by parade founder and executive director Bob Bone and Steve Summers, the parade’s senior patron and the former Lord Mayor of Westminster.
After a brief performance by the jazz band, Summers expressed, “You guys are amazing, you really are, and we’re here because of your reputation.”
Summers presented director of bands Alex Toepfer with a framed invitation inviting the Lancers to star in, “the greatest event in the greatest city in the world”.
According to Bone, the parade will feature more than 10,000 participants from 20 countries. He estimates 750,000 people will line the parade route with hundreds of millions across the globe watching the event on television.
Formally accepting the invitation, principal Jason Peres stated, “We are honored and humbled to accept this invitation. It is a testament to Mr. Toepfer and his program, it is a testament to our amazing hard-working band, and a testament to our amazing community that gives endless amounts of support to our school.”
In addition to the parade experience, students will have many educational and cultural opportunities while in London. Summers shared students will be able to tour the Tower of London, Windsor and Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey, take a boat trip on the river Thames, and see a show in the West End. Reflecting on all the city has to offer, Summers pronounced, “There’s something for everyone, London is such a special place”.