The Pride of Pennsylvania Mansfield Marching Band Invited to Perform in London New Year’s Day Parade

Receiving the official proclamation to perform in the 2024 London New Year’s Day Parade. From L to R—Kaycee Hulslander, Carrie Ackerman, Dr. Adam Brennan, director of bands; and Steve Summers, chair of the London Mayor’s Association.

MANSFIELD, PA (09/27/2022) When the 2024 London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) steps off, the Spirit and the Pride of Pennsylvania Mansfield Marching Band and the Concert Wind Ensemble will be among the featured bands to perform. The official invitation to participate was given to the bands at an event in the Steadman Theatre on campus on Tuesday, Sept. 27, by Bob Bone, who is co-founder of London’s New Year’s Day Parade and Festival and The London International Choral Festival.

Joining Bone for the event was Steve Summers, chair of the London Mayor’s Association (former Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster); along with Dean O’Blonsky, senior American consultant, and Bill Northen, senior director of international participation.

The university marching band, and other musicians from the Mansfield campus of Commonwealth University, will have a life-changing week in the historic city performing in the parade and other venues, immersing in a full educational program visiting museums, historic sites, and places of architectural and artistic interest.

“This is an amazing honor for our students and faculty,” said Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University. “This will be an experience they will never forget. Not only will they have the opportunity to perform at one of the world’s most famous parades, they will also get to see some of the world’s most historic sites.”

The 2024 event will be one of the biggest and best in the event’s history, which spans five decades (80s -2020s) and will be screened live across the world – including the United States on the PBS Network.

Mansfield’s Director of Bands, Dr. Adam Brennan, is thrilled by the invitation to perform.

“The invitation is a true honor and we are excited to be able to be included in this special event,” Brennan said. “As we merge to become Commonwealth University, we are even more excited to invite our sibling institutions to have some of their campus’ students join us to represent our newly formed university through our outstanding marching band.”

The festival concerts carry much cache – and utilize some of the most historic concert venues in London. The concert wind ensemble, which has been eligible for Grammy nominations over 12 times, will present several concerts at various cities throughout London while there. The parade sees more than 8,000 performers from all corners of the globe, entertains a street audience of around 500,000 – and a global TV and streaming audience of tens of millions.

Brennan said the committee reached out to him in early 2020.

“We were contacted by the LNYDP just before the pandemic hit, and of course, the pandemic made considering this impossible,” Brennan added. “That initial contact was the result of two of our alumni who took their high school band to the same event previously and recommended our group be considered for performing in the parade. \Essentially, the recommendation from Eric and Wendy Griffin brought us to the attention of the parade committee and secured our invitation. In fact, Eric and Wendy have volunteered to be our coordinators for the event and if it were not for their help, we would not be going.”

This is not the first trip to Europe for the band. The band had been invited to perform in London for the 2012 Olympics and brought the marching band, the wind ensemble, and a jazz combo. Brennan noted, “We traveled and performed in Paris, France, as well as London in Olympic Village venues, and paid tribute to U.S. fallen soldiers at a World War II American Military Cemetery.”

As far as what music the band will play that day, Brennan has a few ideas.

“The organizers do not determine what we will play, but they ask for excitement of course, and we will choose some things that will be crowd pleasers,” Brennan said. “We are currently considering pieces and are leaning towards things that will connect with the people of London such as music of the Beatles and other British pop icons. And of course, we will do a mash-up of Rule Britannia, God Bless America (God Save the King). You can’t do an event like this without some patriotic point of pride for all!” The concert wind ensemble will choose a repertoire that has historic and cultural value for both the USA and England.

The students traveling and performing will be responsible for their own costs of the trip. Donations are welcome and all support offered will go toward defraying students’ travel costs. According to Brennan, “Our community, alumni, friends, and families have always been of great support. We can’t do this without their help and we are so grateful for their continued support!”

To make a donation toward the cost of the trip for the students, contact Brennan at or call for more information 570-662-4735.

The integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities under the banner of Commonwealth University is a bold investment in the communities and people of Pennsylvania. Our mission is to expand high-quality, affordable academic opportunities to support the needs of all learners. We’re building a powerful tomorrow by boldly changing the trajectory of public higher education to position ourselves for growth, increased access, and to meet economic and workforce development needs. Together we’re honoring our history, investing in today, and building a powerful tomorrow. That’s the power of three.