- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) - The Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band has been invited to participate in the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade in Dublin, Ireland, on March 17, 2015.

KTBS-TV reports (https://bit.ly/UfOpOy) the parade is the principal event of the four-day festival, a multi-disciplinary arts event. More than 500,000 people view the parade and thousands more watch on television.

Northwestern State’s band received an invitation after festival officials watched a video of a past performance and reviewed information about the program. The LSU and University of Illinois bands marched in the 2014 parade.

“This will be an outstanding opportunity for our students to be part of a unique event they will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Jeff Mathews, director of bands. “I think international travel is an education in itself and I want students in the band to have a chance to experience that while they are in college.”

The band will travel from March 15-22 and perform at the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 19.

“Travelling to Ireland will grow the visibility of our program and enhance our recruiting on a regional, state and international level,” Mathews said.

Northwestern State band’s last European performance was in the 2011 New Year’s Day Festival and Parade in London.

The trip is optional. No band or university funding is provided and the cost is being paid for by individual band members.

Northwestern State alumni, faculty staff and friends are invited to join the band for the trip.

For more information, contact Mathews at 318-357-4450 or via email at [email protected]

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Information from: KTBS-TV, https://ktbs.com

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