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Marching Mizzou • Ireland Tour 2012
March 14 - 21, 2012

Marching Mizzou Performs in Ireland and Brings Back a Trophy
(updated 3/22/12)

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Marching Mizzou performed in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other festivals during a week-long trip to Ireland in March.  Approximately 240 Marching Mizzou members, faculty, staff, and alumni made the trip.
The parade was attended by the president of Ireland and the lord mayor of Dublin as well as 550,000 people of all nationalities, and it was viewed by millions around the world via television, giving the band and the university international exposure.

One of the highlights of the trip occurred on March 18 when they were selected as the International Band Champions at the 42nd Limerick International Band Championship. They won by playing traditional selections for festival judges and thousands of spectators in the city center of Limerick. Marching Mizzou competed with 20 bands from Ireland, the United States, and Russia to bring home the trophy.

“This trip was a big deal for our program because the band has not done anything like this in almost 40 years,” says Bradley Snow, director of Marching Mizzou. “It will help with recruiting and will help give our program credibility in comparison to other collegiate band programs.”

Marching Mizzou also performed in festivals in Galway and Limerick. For the past 41 years, Limerick has hosted an international band parade and competition where bands from across Ireland, Europe, and the United States showcase their talents.

“For most of our students, this trip was their first international experience,” says Snow. “They were able to experience the culture of Ireland in a way that most people never get to, by sharing in the universal language of music.”

Marching Mizzou is composed of students from nearly every major within the university. The marching and musical style of the band blends the great traditions of MU with the exciting performance styles of today. 



Blog author: Christopher Baumgarter, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our last day in Ireland was pretty spectacular. We drove to the Cliffs of Moher for a view of the Atlantic Ocean from the eastern coast. The 702 ft. high cliffs are home to a number of species of birds and are a regular tourist attraction. Although it was a cloudy and windy day on the ocean front, the sun did come out early in the afternoon!

Ladies of the M2 Trumpet Section at the Cliffs of Moher

The O'Brien castle at the Cliffs

Walking across limestone at Burren

Christina Hendrix pointing home toward the USA

After hiking around the Cliffs, Marching Mizzou traveled through the countryside and along the coast to the city of Galway. A major port for the island, Galway is home to many shops, crafts, and imported goods. Walking through the pedestrian streets, you can take in a some of the rich history of this historic Irish town.

Exploring the pedestrian streets of Galway

After our tour of western Ireland, we returned to the hotel for dinner and some more traditional Irish music. Everyone packed up and prepared for the early departure tomorrow morning. Everyone is sad to leave Ireland after so many wonderful experiences, both performing and learning about the Irish culture.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A scenic bus ride took us through the countryside of southern Ireland toward the port town of Cork. We visited Blarney Castle which houses the famous Blarney Stone! After a walk up the tiny, spiral staircase of the castle, students waited in line to kiss the stone – a process that requires you to lay on your back and hang over the edge of the castle! Afterward we had time for shopping in the Woolen Mills area.

Students in line for the Blarney Castle tour

In the evening, the entire group had a gathering at Dolan's Pub. A traditional Irish band performed while we ate dinner and danced. The most popular selection of the evening – one of the Missouri fight songs that is also an Irish traditional song. Everyone sang along and had a wonderful time!

Irish jig band playing for Marching Mizzou at Dolan's Pub

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marching Mizzou headed to Limerick, Ireland today to perform in the 2012 St. Patrick's Festival International Band Championship. We marched through downtown Limerick to the city center where we played a few our traditional selections for the festival judges and thousands of spectators. Twenty bands participated in the event, representing three different countries. Marching Mizzou was selected as the International Band Champion, taking first place over bands from Ireland, the US, and Russia!

Parade route through downtown Limerick

Drum Majors Elliot Naes and Paul Heddings with Dr. Snow and
Marching Mizzou's International Band Championship trophy

After the performance, we toured Bunratty Castle. Completed around 1425, the castle was restored in 1954 and has become one of the largest tour attractions in the Limerick area. Many students climbed the spiral staircase to the top of the castle for a birds-eye view of the Limerick countryside.

Cassie Smith, John Stahl, and Amanda McCully at the Bunratty Castle gate

Dr. Silvey walking down the spiral staircase at Bunratty Castle

To watch a video of Saturday's performance in Dublin, click on the following link and (after the advertisement) go to the 1:13 mark. Lots of Marching Mizzou footage!!!v=1141040

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Marching Mizzou made its debut performance today in the annual Dublin St. Patrick's Day Festival! We were the largest band EVER to perform in the city's parade, which hosts more than 500,000 spectators each year. We encountered a little "liquid sunshine" before stepping off, but only clouds and sun followed – a beautiful, cool afternoon in Ireland!

Passing a church at Parnell Square

Marching past the statue of nationalist leader Daniel O'Connell

Spectators were very friendly, many of the kids grabbing "high-fives" from band members as they passed. We even spotted a few Mizzou fans! It was great to hear "M-I-Z" chanted from the crowd as we passed by. The parade route down O'Connel Street took us past Dublin's Gregorian townhouses, monuments, and government buildings – a beautiful scene for such a historic event.

Mizzou Fans holding an MU flag

Passing through Dublin's historic downtown

Sean Dobbins "high-fiving" a spectator

After the performance, students had one last opportunity to explore the Grafton Street area to take in some of Dublin's culture – and shopping, of course. Tonight's dinner is at the hotel, then we get ready to leave for Limerick early Sunday morning. Looking forward to our next performance!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Marching Mizzou started off the day with a tour of Dublin and Trinity College. Students had the opportunity to see the original "Book of Kells" at the college museum/library. Very cool! Lots of info on how the book was made and preserved. We also visited the Long Room on the top floor of the library, which houses thousands of books dating back hundreds (if not thousands) of years.

Afterward, the band traveled to the Guinness Store House for a tour and performance. A small group of M2 members played for a crowd at entrance of the museum. Quite the welcome response!!

The afternoon and evening are free for everyone to tour and shop along Graffton Street in downtown Dublin. Everyone is getting excited for tomorrow's parade down O'Connel Street in historic Dublin!

Thursday, March 15, 1012

A total of 242 Marching Mizzou members, staff, family, and friends departed for Ireland early Wednesday morning. With groups leaving from both St. Louis and Chicago, there was a lot of preparation and organization to make the trip as smooth as possible. Students spent time relaxing, napping, and playing cards in the airports while they waited to board the plane to Dublin. After two wonderful flights, everyone arrived ahead of schedule and loaded onto busses for an exciting first day!

Arrival in Dublin

Although most of us were tired from the long day of travel, Marching Mizzou was eager to begin sight-seeing. We started this morning with a short bus tour of Dublin and its major suburbs. We enjoyed a brief coffee stop and some time at Phoenix Park, home to the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul VI, to which nearly 1.5 million people attended – one of the largest public events in Dublin's history. Also located there is the Irish President's home and that of the US Ambassador. After cruising through the city, countryside, and fishing ports of Dublin Bay, we checked into Bewleys Hotel.

At the Papal Cross in Phoenix Park

Sightseeing in Dublin

The afternoon was free for exploring Dublin. Students took to the streets walking and riding the new above-ground public tram – DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). Shopping, sight-seeing, and lunch were the most popular attractions. The entire group met up for dinner and announcements at the hotel. With a free night, most are turning in early to catch up on sleep and prepare for a Friday full of Dublin sights and tours. A small pep band will also be performing at the Guinness Brewery following our group tour!