The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Marching Blazers will pack their green and gold for a trip to the Emerald Isle March 14-21.
The mayor of Dublin, Ireland, Andrew Montague, last year invited the Marching Blazers to perform for the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade. After raising more than $100,000, 120 members of the 200-member band are going. They will march and perform in the two-hour parade on March 17 in front of an estimated 500,000 people. At least 17 bands from across the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy and Ireland will march in the parade.
While in Dublin, the Marching Blazers will take a tour of the city, see St. Patrick’s Cathedral and visit Trinity College. On March 18, the Marching Blazers will participate in the International Marching Band Competition in Limerick, where they will also visit the 13th century Bunratty Castle. The band will visit Galway and the Cliffs of Moher, then County Cork, where they can see the Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone.The band held a golf tournament in November to raise money for airfare. Each member also paid $1,500 for the ground package. Marching Blazers Director Sue Samuels, Ph.D., said it is a tradition for the mayor of Dublin to invite American university marching bands to participate.
“We are thrilled to be invited and are very much looking forward to the trip,” Samuels said.