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Green Brigade reflects on St. Patrick’s Day parade performance

Green Brigade reflects on St. Patrick’s Day parade performance

Green Brigade reflects on St. Patrick’s Day parade performance
March 31
12:00 2022

The university’s award-winning marching band, the Green Brigade, traveled to Dublin, Ireland over spring break to perform in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

The parade has not taken place for the past two years due to COVID-19, and this year’s event brought in about 400,000 spectators, according to BBC. The parade committee named the Green Brigade the best adult band, said music education sophomore Owen Eichenseer. 

“I was pretty overwhelmed,” Eichenseer said. “You have about a half a million people on the road and they come from all over the world. If you’re in the parade, you’re kind of the main event, so to have that many people’s eyes on you, it’s crazy.”

The band was stationed for about three hours before stepping off at the end of the parade route, said Green Brigade Director Daniel Cook. Even during the long wait time, Cook said the members still made some amazing memories. 

“We got there really early, and they hadn’t done [the parade] in three years, so it took a little bit longer to get going,” Cook said. “[…] I think the members had a good time anyway. We were stationed next to like this Irish kids TV show, and there’s this really awesome video of them doing all this cute choreography and all of our band members also doing it.”

Public health freshman Ashley Hartenstein said this was her first time traveling out of the country and said the parade was unlike any performance she had been in.

“Once we were able to start moving through the crowd and saw all of the people, it became a reality of how many people were at this parade,” Hartenstein said. “As time went on you kind of eased into it and you can turn to the crowd and see all these phones and people recording you, and all the little kids at the front trying to reach out and get a high five from you. It was amazing.”

Outside of the parade, the band traveled to several cities around Ireland to sightsee and perform. They gave two standstill performances in the cities of Cobh and Limerick. 

“We had a good couple hundred people in each of these towns come out and stop where they were going on the street to watch us and to listen to us play,” Eichenseer said. “The marching band is not really a big thing over there — over in the U.K. in particular, you have like 30 piece brass bands.  It was a fun experience, being able to do all this stuff and being able to share our culture with Europe.”

Cook said the trip was by far one of the biggest things the band has done and the group has not traveled internationally since the 1970s. He said he hopes that every two or three years the band can participate in a major national or international event that draws prestige to both the band and the university.

“I certainly hope and think that this experience will open the door for more things like this in the future,” Cook said. “I want to make sure that the students have a sort of broad musical experience aside from just playing at the football games.”

Image source UNT College of Music

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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