The 2018-19 St. Clair County High School band

The 2018-19 St. Clair County High School band

ODENVILLE -- It’s the chance of a lifetime for members of the St. Clair County High School Sound of the Saints Band.

The band has been invited to participate in the New Year’s Day Parade on Jan. 1, 2020, in London.

The event will be viewed by more than 600,000 people on the parade route, and more than 600 million viewers will watch on television from all over the world. The band will be in England from Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

Band director Dr. Chris Walker said his program is made up of students from both Odenville Middle and St. Clair County High schools.

“They are remarkable young men and women who work very hard at their craft,” Walker said. “I am very fortunate to work with them every day. These students are deserving of this honor. Their perseverance, determination and kindness are outstanding.”

The cost of the trip all total is about $450,000, or $3,800 per student.

Christy Barclay, chair of the fundraising committee with the SCCHS Band Boosters, said due to the cost, many of the students will not be able to partake in this opportunity.

“As a booster organization, we have made it our goal to attempt to fund the full cost of the trip so that everyone can attend,” Barclay said. “While we do have many fundraisers planned, we know we will not reach our goal without the additional support of individuals and business in the area.”

Walker said the St. Clair County school board, Superintendent Mike Howard, SCCHS Principal Brandon Taylor, SCCHS Assistant Principal Janet Bloomston, OMS Principal Walker Cook and OMS Assistant Principal Michelle Miskelley are supportive of the students and their endeavors.

“In order to get these students of St. Clair County to London, we are going to need a great deal of corporate support,” Walker said. “We have a graduated tier of sponsorships, which has increasing levels of public notoriety. Individuals and companies that want to lend their support can contact me here at St. Clair County High School.”

Barclay said this is a prestigious event and a huge honor for the band students to receive an invitation.

“It is a direct result of their hard work and dedication throughout the year,” Barclay said. “During the trip, the band will perform a concert in Cadogan Hall and tour many historical places, such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.”

Taylor said he is excited about the opportunity the band has to showcase its talents in front of such a huge crowd.

“It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students, and a memory they will cherish as adults,” Taylor said. “Congratulations to Dr. Chris Walker and all of the students for being offered this prestigious position in the Lord Mayor’s parade. Now the rest of the world will get to see how talented our students from St. Clair County are. I have no doubt they will impress.”

Reach Gary Hanner at