Weather Halts JMU Band Trip to London

The weather has halted travel plans for some James Madison University students.

About half of the JMU Royal Dukes were supposed to be headed to Europe Monday morning, but their flights have been canceled.

For two years, the JMU marching band has been planning its trip to march in London's New Year's Day parade.

Now delayed because of airport closures, members are not quite sure when they'll make it overseas.

Catherine Patterson, a junior at JMU, says, "Our flight got canceled, and because of the wonderful weather, and it's not happening right now. Right now it's just a waiting game and we're trying to figure it out."

Scott Rikkers, Director of the JMU Marching Band, says, despite the weather and the delays, they can't wait to represent JMU and the Shenandoah Valley.

The group's flights were originally out of Baltimore, Dulles and JFK.

Rickkers says he has been on the phone all day Monday with travel agencies trying to rebook flights for the students.

Aaron Raffeinner, a freshman at JMU, actually started his college experience this year knowing he was going to London.

Kayla Payne, a junior, says they are excited to walk down the streets of such a historic city.

She says, "A lot of other students, and alumni as well, I've noticed on Facebook, are like good luck, wish you safe travels. I think a lot of them do with they could come but they are really excited for the rest of us."

Not only are there 275 band members traveling, but there are also about 100 family members and alumni going as well.

Despite the cancellations, the students are just anxious to get out of the country, many for the first time.

Everyone is scheduled to come back to the Valley January 4, weather permitting.


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