Watch Marching Monarchs Perform Live in Ireland
March 15, 2016
Fans of Old Dominion University's Marching Monarchs can start their St. Patrick's Day celebration Thursday morning by watching their favorite college band perform live in Dublin, Ireland.
The Marching Monarchs will participate in the St. Patrick's Festival Parade to kick off the annual four-day celebration in Ireland's capital city.
According to a festival official, the parade will run 75 minutes and will employ three fixed cameras and one roving camera to assure plenty of airtime for all of its participants.
ODU is one of four American university bands invited to participate in this year's parade through downtown streets expected to be lined with a half-million revelers.
"This is a monumental event for our program and for the University," said Alex Treviño, ODU's director of athletic bands.
In Ireland, the band will play at the official festival reception Wednesday, March 16, and then march in Thursday's parade with 13 other bands from the U.S., Ireland and Great Britain.
The Marching Monarchs also will play in the International Band Championship in Limerick, Ireland on Sunday, March 20 before heading home.
The band will be playing familiar tunes on the foreign turf. Treviño asked the parade organizers for suggestions of Irish music to play, but they countered, "We know our music. We really want to hear your music.''
That means such band standbys as the "ODU March Alma Mater" and "Victory for Old Dominion," Treviño said.
ODU applied to play in this year's parade, which marks the 100th anniversary of the seminal events that led to the founding of the Irish Republic. Treviño and Dennis Zeisler, ODU's director of bands, attended last year's St. Patrick's Day Festival Parade in Dublin for a site visit. While they were there, they received their official parade invitation from Christy Burke, lord mayor of Dublin.
"I'm from San Antonio, where they have a Fiesta Week celebration of the city and the culture, and everybody is just really excited to show their pride," Treviño said. "That's exactly what I felt even before the St. Patrick's Festival Parade started - the people in the streets wearing green, decorated with hats and necklaces and just ready to be excited and entertained."
The Monarch Marching Band was founded by Treviño in 2008 ahead of the return of football to ODU in '09. It performs regularly at football and basketball games and also supports other athletic teams on a limited basis. The band also performs at numerous festivals, and was awarded "Best Marching Band" in 2013 and '14 for the Grand Illumination Parade in downtown Norfolk.