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Posts from the ‘Live from London’ Category

Watch the Parade Online

Southerners fans, it looks like you’ll have additional opportunities to see the London New Year’s Day Parade on information tv’s website. Per their schedule, it will be on at 7 p.m. today (1 a.m. January 6, London time), as well as several times in the next week or so. Check the schedules on Showcase 2 on the information tv website for additional viewing opportunities.

The Parade

It’s hard to believe the London New Year’s Day Parade 2012 is now history!

We’ll have more to say tomorrow about our incredible parade experience but in the meantime we thought you’d enjoy some photos and a few links that we gathered from the web.

Don’t forget that you can watch the parade stream online at the following times in the U.S. on at 4 a.m. CST on January 2, at 4 a.m. and at 1 p.m. CST on January 3, and at 1:30 p.m. CST on Sunday, January 8 (Click on Showcase 2 for the final two transmissions)

As always, thank you for your support of the Marching Southerners!

The Warm-Up

And we’re off…

Our super talented and dedicated videographer, Logan Huggins

Parade Emcee Jonathan Whaley announces the Southerners.

Lined up and ready to go!

And we march off into London New Year’s Day Parade  history…

Because we were chosen to lead the parade, we received a lot of press attention. Here are some of the media outlets that gave us a mention (Hit the link for the related article):


The Daily Mail (You’ll need to scroll through this one)

Liverpool Daily Post (This article appeared in many newspapers)

Here are a few snippets that have been posted to YouTube. There’s more video to come, so stay tuned!

It wouldn’t be a Southerners performance without the crowd yelling “Blow, Southerners!”

We’re humbled by the comments on the following video. Wow!



The Concert in Trafalgar Square

What a difference a day makes!

Day two in London brought a more rested group of Southerners and an ample dose of that famous London rain and chill. Fortunately, before the rain set in, we had time to check out some local landmarks and forge ahead to the highlight of our day–  our concert in historic Trafalgar Square!

As our tour buses navigated the narrow streets, we thrilled to see real views like this one we’ve seen on so many postcards…

The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Even though the Queen was not home, we didn’t think she’d mind if we stopped for a few photo opportunities at Buckingham Palace.

One group of us cheesed it up for our amazing tour guide, Maitland…

while JSU’s own first couple, Dr. and Mrs. Meehan, reenacted Prince William and new bride Kate’s kiss so daughter Carol Grace could make a photo for the Meehan family album.

Dr. Meehan then took a moment for a photo with our amazing drum majors, Lauren and Daniel.

Then it was time to move on to the audience that awaited us at Trafalgar Square! In addition to the often photographed fountain and Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square now has a countdown clock to the 2012 London Olympics. Here we are, making our way past it to our performance area in front of the National Gallery.

And here are some of us in the pre-concert drizzle, waiting for our moment to make it a sunny day for the people of London who graciously invited us to join them for New Year’s…

We were greeted by some fantastic fans, including some we brought with us…

And some new ones we hadn’t yet met.

They filled the square, standing in the drizzle as they cheered on a band from a town they’d never heard of.

They represented many nations and spoke so many languages.

They could have gone anywhere else in this grand old tourism town, and yet they chose to stand in the mist and share with us the universal language of music.

It warmed our hearts!

Because they stayed with us, we brought our best to them.

Our best smiles…

Our highest kicks…

Our grandest gestures…

Our best spins…

And our sweetest notes.

We played some of our favorites, and we hope some of our favorites become theirs.

We played Salvation and  Southerners Special, Firebird and Fever.

They listened from behind us, on the steps of the National Gallery…

And in front of us…

And did we mention that it warmed our hearts?

When it was over, our new friends hung around for a bit and we had some more fun.

We saw a future Ballerina in the crowd…

Who watched the current Ballerinas grant media interviews…

And pose with some admirers…

All in the name of world peace.

And did we mention that this warmed our hearts?

We can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds as we end 2011 in London.

Happy New Year’s Eve from the Marching Southerners and the Ballerinas!

What a Day, Night, Whatever!

We made it! The Southerners have landed in London and this old town may never be the same!

We began arriving as early as 6 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29. As of this writing at 6 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, the last three students were trickling in.

The first day was a whirlwind, but our Southerners are a determined and tireless bunch. This was evident to everyone in the Hilton London Metropole last night as, after probably no more than eight hours sleep in 24 hours for the whole group, our Southerners still managed to stage a rehearsal in the hotel that had people on every level of the hotel looking into the open lobby stairwell, wondering where that amazing rendition of Stars Fell on Alabama was coming from!

Excuse the quality of this video. It was very late and this blogger was very sleepy, but here’s an example:

And here are some other highlights of the journey thus far:

A friendly face met us at the airport. Meet James, our guide. He and Emma, our other guide for our trip, have been fantastic!

And here’s our hotel, the Hilton London Metropole. Very swank and in a great location, with close access to the ‘tube.’ (That’s what they call the subway here). Upon arrival we learned that our rooms were not yet ready.

So… we did what any good tourists would do. We dropped our bags and went sightseeing.

One of the first sights we saw in the tube was a sign for the parade!

After consulting a map…

We hit a few of the highlights…

Finally, it was time to check in!

After a quick orientation and a great meal

We got busy with our first London rehearsal

It was a full day, or two, that left us feeling a bit like this

but there’s no rest for a Southerner!

Next up: Our first day of sightseeing and our concert in Trafalgar Square.

Stay tuned!

How to Support the Southerners

The Southerners perform for a very enthusiastic home crowd at JSU Stadium.

The Southerners have conducted all types of fundraisers for the London trip, from holding flea markets to selling tickets to a dinner event that was graciously sponsored by a local restaurant, Classic on Noble.

Individual donations are also greatly appreciated and may be sent to:

JSU Foundation / Marching Southerners
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, AL 36265

Please put “Southerners London” in the memo line on your check.

Also, contributions may be made with a major credit card online at

Thank you for your support!