The Colorado State University Marching Band’s much anticipated trip to Dublin, Ireland for the 2013 St. Patrick’s Festival was a tremendous success, with 225 students from the 300 member band participating in the ten day journey.
On March 17, after nearly two years of planning, the morning’s prevailing rain and blowing snow eased and the CSU Marching Band stepped off onto the streets of Dublin town in the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in the city’s history. The band charmed nearly three-quarters of a million people with their truly American feature tune, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” along with the CSU Fight Song, Spell Yell, and other favorite cadences and cheers!
Shouts of “Welcome to Dublin!” and cheers for the USA were heard all along the route. CSU friends and family, including the donors of the coveted “RAMS” souvenir jackets, Dave and Paula Edwards, cheered from the grandstands.
The band was presented with the award for “Best Adult Band” in the parade by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
“What an absolutely unparalleled opportunity,” said director Richard Frey of the trip. “We were thrilled to be the public face of CSU, Colorado, and the United States, all the way over in Dublin.”
The days on the road included a performance in Kilkenny with the marble castle as a dramatic background to the band’s thrilling performance; a visit to Blarney Castle to kiss the stone and wish for the ‘gift of the gab’; a medieval banquet where the ‘lords and ladies’ supped while being serenaded; time at the Cliffs of Moher which rise dramatically 700 ft. out of the Atlantic – a magnificent scene that captured everyone’s heart and imagination; and a drive around the picturesque fishing villages of Galway Bay to the vibrant city of Galway, known for its traditional music culture.
The band received continuous positive feedback throughout the trip, in-person and via social media.
“Hi guys - just returned from watching you at Kilkenny Castle…you were absolutely brilliant, your performance was spectacular and like nothing we have seen or heard before in this part of Ireland. Well done to you all. Have a wonderful time in Ireland. Slàn,” said local, Angela Lynch via facebook.
The 2013 March to Dublin was made possible by the backing of hundreds of generous donors with a lead gift from long-time supporter of the band, Jackie Erickson.