JSU band to perform in London

By Dixon Hayes
JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Jacksonville State University's Marching Southerners band has possibly their biggest gig ever. They will perform before Her Majesty Queen of England.
 
This week, the band received the official invitation from Lord Lieutenant Roger Bramble of Greater London, on behalf of the Queen, to play the London New Year's Day Parade in 2012. 
JSU will represent the America in a large parade that will kick off an important year in Great Britain.  They're marking the 60th anniversary/Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and the Olympics, which will be in London later in the year.
 
Bramble told FOX6 News the parade organizers consider it an honor to have the Marching Southerners in their parade.  He says scouts found them in the Bands of America competition in Atlanta.
 
"We have sort of a musical FBI which trolls the states and reports back telling us what is worthwhile and what is not," Bramble says.  "And what came from down here, in fact, was superlative."
 
The band performed for Bramble to mark the occasion. They did an overture that sounded traditionally British but included melodic samples of "Stars Fell on Alabama" and "Dixie."
 
"It's just absolutely incredible," says JSU band leader Ken Bodiford.  "It's a great honor, especially for our students. It's always nice to reward them for their hard work,
and I think they're very excited about it."

JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Graduate student Ian Pask tells us, "I was pretty excited, it's a good thing for the band, opens a lot of doors, lot more nationally known than we are now, so it's exciting.  I guess I'm feeling for the work that we've done, it's kind of like a reward."

The parade will unfold before an international television audience in the hundreds of millions.
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