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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Marching Monarchs End Irish Journey with Top Award

By Tom Robinson

The Old Dominion University Marching Monarchs capped a memorable week in Ireland by winning the "Best International Band" prize at Sunday's 46th Limerick International Band Championship in Limerick City.

The band's international adventure began with last Wednesday's appearance at the official reception for Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Festival Parade.

The following morning, the Marching Monarchs participated in the iconic festival parade, that was attended by a half-million people, as one of four American college bands invited to Dublin.

Director Alex Treviño's group then joined more than 1,000 other musicians Sunday in Limerick, where 18 groups from the United States and Ireland entertained about 40,000 revelers at the city's annual post-St. Patrick's Day musical event. It is Ireland's only international band competition.

Treviño said he was moved Thursday by the Marching Monarchs breaking formation after their Dublin performance to interact with the crowds lined four and five deep along the streets as they headed for their buses.

"The students went up to as many people as possible and started shaking hands," Treviño said. "I knew they were tired; we had just marched uphill for quite a while, and rather unexpectedly. Yet by the looks on their faces, you'd never know it."

Video of that scene in Dublin can be viewed here.

The band also posted video of its performance in Limerick on Sunday. That can be viewed here.