This spring break, the UF Fightin’ Gator Marching Band will be touring in Ireland to perform in multiple St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Stops for the band will include the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade in Cork, the 51st International Band Championship in Limerick and at the St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin with a standstill concert.
“The Lord Mayor of Dublin and the Lord Mayor of Cork both invited us to perform in Ireland during the St. Patrick’s Festival years ago,” said UF band director Jay Watkins in an email reply. “When the academic calendar lined up with St. Patrick’s this year we decided to accept and go forward.”
A group of 350 students will be going on the trip and, while in Ireland, they will get to enjoy the culture of Ireland by sightseeing at several historical sites.
Opportunities like this are a chance, “to represent UF in a series of significant international events,” said Watkins, adding that he hopes each one of the band members will gain a “greater sense of independence and an appreciation for other cultures and countries.”
The Gators Marching Band will play a variety of UF school songs, halftime show and stands tunes. They also will play three new songs arranged especially for Ireland: “Danny Boy,” “Itsbynne Reel,” and “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary,” according to Watkins.
The band held its final rehearsal at UF last Sunday.