Bridgewater College’s Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band to perform in London’s New Year’s Day parade

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:57 AM EST
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - After decades without a marching band, Bridgewater College’s Screamin’ Eagles will be performing on a global stage in a few short weeks.

It is the second year of the program, and director of athletic bands Barry Flowe says it was exciting news to be invited to perform in London’s New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP).

“In our first season, my staff and I were looking for things we would like for this band to be able to do as far as travel and some exciting engagements so the students can have performance opportunities that are unique and fun,” Flowe said.

Flowe says after a hiatus from the 1960′s to 2021, the marching band at Bridgewater College reformed.

After a successful first season, the band was nominated for the opportunity to interview to perform in LNYDP. The Screamin’ Eagles were then officially invited in February of this year by Bob Bone, co-founder and executive director of the parade and festival, and Duncan Sandys, great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister.

“We’re taking about 80 people to London, 60 students and 20 supporters and alumni and we’re going to have a great week there and cap it off with a performance on New Year’s Day,” Flowe said.

Screamin’ Eagles Drum Major Luke Cronin has been in marching bands throughout his life and says to continue performing has been an achievement.

“It was one of my overall goals to have a marching band by the time I leave and now that it has happened and now we’re traveling internationally to do something like this. It means that one of my hopes and dreams to come from this school has come true and I will forever cherish that,” Cronin said.

The Screamin’ Eagles have had plenty of rehearsal time over the last several months. Marching band is a class at Bridgewater that meets twice a week for rehearsals and performs at each home football game.

Flowe says this schedule has extended past football season which ended in November, so the band stays sharp ahead of the big performance.

“The students who answered the call we want to do as much as we can with them to reward them for coming out and doing marching band,” Flowe said.

First-year color guard member Elizabeth Burzumato says she took a break from marching band after high school but says performing with her fellow eagles and being able to represent Bridgewater internationally is something she will never forget.

“It’s been fun and hard work but not for competition results it’s for us to feel good about the performances that we do and to make our school proud. I think that absolutely is true and the members of my section are my best friends and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Burzumato said.

During the week leading up to the performance, the band will be exploring London through museum visits, trips to historical sites, and a live theatre show.

For more information about the Screamin’ Eagles click here. If you’d like to tune in to London’s New Year’s Day Parade to watch the band perform you can find more information here.