High school band set to perform in Europe over the holidays

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A local high school band is making some big travel plans! The Desert Mountain High School Band, Choir and Orchestra will be heading to Paris and London to perform in London's New Year's Day Parade over winter break.

In fact, most of the instruments have already been shipped to Paris.

On Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, we caught up with them in Scottsdale for one of their last rehearsals, just days before they leave Phoenix on Friday, Dec. 26.

"Very, very exciting," says Michelle Irvin, Band & Orchestra Director. "I can't believe it's just a few days away."

On December 29, the Band and Orchestra students will perform in the Christmas Market at the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

On January 1, 2015, the Band, Choir and Orchestra members will march in London's New Year's Day Parade - marching two miles before an expected audience of half a million people, and many more watching the live satellite broadcast.

The parade represents more than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries worldwide. The parade starts at 12 p.m. on Piccadilly at the junction with Berkeley Street near Green Park Tube Station and finishes at 3.30 p.m. in Parliament Square. The parade route is - Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Street.

On January 2, the Choir will perform for the Westminster Central Hall for the evening "London International Choral Festival Gala Concert."

Then, on January 3, the Band and Orchestra will perform at the evening's London's New Year Day Parade Festival Concert at St. John's, Smith Square.

"It's the first time for many of them to ever go to Europe," says Irvin. "And it's probably the only chance they'll have to march in this parade, because it's only by invitation."

Irvin's grandfather was actually a trumpeter for the King of England and marched down Whitehall, which is the same route of the Desert Mountain High School band will be marching in London's New Year Day Parade.

And get this. Michelle's daughter, Ashley who is a trumpeter in the band and freshman at Desert Mountain, will also participate in London's New Year Day Parade.

"To think that my daughter, a trumpet player, is going to do this now, 70 years later, along the same route, is quite heartwarming," says Irvin.

Students have been doing fundraisers for two years to help pay for this trip.