Odessa High School Marching Band to perform at the 2025 London's New Year's Day Parade
The Odessa High Band formed just four years ago when the new high school opened in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now it’s gone from meeting over Zoom to traveling overseas to perform in the London’s New Year’s Day Parade.
At Thursday’s invitation ceremony, Parade Founder and Chairman Robert Bone gave Battery Section Leader Emma Sipes an umbrella – a symbolic gift given to one representative of all participating bands to ensure a rainless New Year’s Day.
“Now until the parade is over, I’m going to carry this umbrella with me everywhere. It will never leave my side," Emma said.
Drum Major Ruby Wall says the invitation shows just how far the band has come.
“Me and Emma were both founding members of the program, so it’s super cool to see how we’ve grown as a band. We started probably with 20 people and now we’ve grown to probably 70, and so it’s honestly a huge honor and we’re super excited," Ruby said.
Odessa High School Band Director Brian Endlein says the parade sends talent scouts out across the country and Odessa was notified over the summer that performing in 2025 was a possibility.
The marching band will play the entirety of the 2.2 mile parade route along with 9,000 other participants and about 26 other U.S. high schools, but Endlein says this isn’t daunting for the marching band.
“As we get closer to the event, we’ll actually simulate what it’s like to move into the televised area and things like that. So we do hold some special rehearsals just for the London performance as we get closer in November and December, but for us it will be business as usual – just keep preparing students to be the best they can be," Endlein said.
Although this is Odessa High School’s first time at the parade, Endlein previously took Middletown High School to London for the event twice – once in 2014 and 2018.
The parade will be broadcast globally and will be available for US audiences on PBS.