Legend's Titans Band invited to perform in London on New Year’s Day
PARKER – London’s former Lord Mayor, Duncan Sandys, recently visited Legend High School to formally invite the Legend Titans Band to perform in London’s 2016 New Year’s Day Parade.
The band is one of only twelve American bands to be selected for the honor. London’s New Year’s Day Parade began in 1987 and has evolved into one of the world’s great street exhibitions, with up to 10,000 performers from across continents, hundreds of thousands of spectators and a live television audience of several hundred million people.
On New Year’s Eve, Legend’s Concert Band will perform for about 1,000 to 1,500 people in a cathedral. Then on New Year’s Day, the Titan Marching Band will take to the London streets for the parade. Finally, the school’s award-winning Jazz Band will play at an event for dignitaries.
“I think it is a huge honor to be picked for this,” said Legend Senior Hallie Kimbrel. “I think it is amazing. Not many people get to do it. It will be a once in a lifetime event.”
Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys presenting Principal Jacob with the City of Westminster Coat of Arms
“It is a fantastic opportunity,” added Legend Band Director Orlando Otis. He submitted audio and video of the band, so that London parade organizers could see his band’s talent. “They pick the bands that they believe represent the highest level of musical performance.”
Former Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys is the great grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and was the youngest Lord Mayor in London’s history.
During the visit, students gave him, and the other parade representatives, a tour of Legend, performed for the group and then exchanged gifts.
“The kids got a chance to be involved in, more than anything, a cultural exchange today,” Otis explained. “The students learned how to address someone that is considered nobility. They must address them by their title in public. His title is Lord Mayor.”
In return, the former Lord Mayor got a taste of Legend’s student culture.
“A lot of band students came up to him, asking for selfies. He was a bit overwhelmed by everyone,” said Legend senior Hallie Kimbrel, with a laugh.
“He never takes selfies, but our kids are so excited, they actually got him to take selfies,” added Otis.
Parker Mayor Mike Waid also attended the ceremony and congratulated the band. During his remarks he took the opportunity to start a friendly rivalry with his London counterpart.
“One of the representatives said that London was one of the greatest cities in the world, which is why they have the parade there. When our mayor got up there, he basically reminded everyone that Parker is the greatest city in the world. Of course, everyone had a laugh,” Otis said.
This isn’t the first time that the Legend Titans Band has been invited to perform on the world stage. In recent years, the students have marched in the National Hawaiian Day Parade, in Honolulu, Hawaii and at the Gator Bowl, in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Those aren’t the things we’re striving for. Basically we are striving for excellence in all that we do,” explained Otis. “If other people want to recognize us for being an outstanding band program and what we do, we are okay with that. Our goal, however, is to make sure that our kids learn the big skills that are going to be with them long past a trip to London or Hawaii.”
Otis says that that the 21st Century Skills, including the 4Cs—Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration—that are taught in DCSD classrooms are practiced daily by students who participate in band.
“We are challenging the kids to be creative and at the same time saying, ‘this didn’t work out exactly as we thought.' What kind of tools are you going to use to make sure we do it better next time,” Otis said.
Visit the Legend Titan Band website for updates and to support LHS students.