HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Maybe you’ve herd? There will be an internationally televised event featuring a hometown marching band next week.
Melissa Barlit is a graduate assistant for the Marshall University Marching Thunder. Barlit is helping get a special surprise ready for the show.
“It’s hard to believe sometimes, but it’s absolutely an amazing feeling,” Barlit said.
More than 600,000 people will line the streets of London, England, to watch the New Years Day parade. The event will also be televised here.
“We’re getting recognized on the international level,” Barlit said. “That, I think, is just a huge thing. You never think a small town in West Virginia would be recognized like that but here we are.”
More than 100 band members raised their own money, while the university helped out with some expenses, too. Dr. Adam Dalton is the Director of Bands and he said scouts took notice when they performed in Rome, Italy, in 2016.
“They saw us there and they were like you have to come to London,” Dalton said.
Scouts didn’t just ask the Marching Thunder to play in the New Years Day parade, they asked them to lead it.
“We do things a little differently in that we are a little more interactive,” Dalton said. “We enjoy entertaining the crowd and I think that’s what sets us apart.”
Four thousand miles from home, bridging London to Appalachia, one drumbeat at a time.
You can follow their journey on Twitter.