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Appalachian’s Marching Mountaineers to perform in Madrid

Dr. Scott C. Tobias.jpgBOONE—The Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers have been invited to perform in the Cabalgata de Reyes Parade Jan. 5, 2011, in Madrid, Spain.

Cabalgata de Reyes or “Night of the Kings” is a major celebration in the Spanish calendar, and a parade has occurred in Madrid for nearly 800 years.

Only two bands are selected to participate in the Cabalgata de Reyes annually. The

Marching Mountaineers will join the University of Louisiana-Lafayette as the two musical entries for 2011.

Dr. Scott C. Tobias, associate director of bands at Appalachian, anticipates that about 150 band members will sign up for the trip, which they must finance themselves.

This is the second international venue at which the marching band has been invited to perform. The first was the New Year’s Day parade in London in 2006. “It is because of our successful participation in the London parade that we were invited to Madrid,” Tobias said. Marching bands are a relatively new addition to the parade in Madrid. Organizers there sought assistance from parade organizers in London to incorporate bands into the Night of Kings parade, Tobias explained. Appalachian is one of only two bands invited to participate in the event.

“Traveling to Spain will provide our students with the opportunity to experience a different culture and see some pretty phenomenal locations,” he said. “And it’s an opportunity to further spread the Appalachian and Hayes School of Music names throughout Europe.”

While in Madrid, the band members will tour historic sites such as the Spanish Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, as well as tour the cities of Toledo and Segovia. While in Segovia, the Marching Mountaineers will perform in an outdoor concert in front of a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct that runs through the city.

The Cabalgata de Reyes is an evening event of dazzling color, excitement and majesty. Lighted floats and balloons progress through the city streets before arriving in front of the Madrid City Hall. Nearly two million spectators line the two-mile parade route to witness the festivities, which also will be televised to an estimated audience of tens of millions.