What we reported, what's new, and what's next for the marching bands.

WHAT WE REPORTED – The marching bands of the Appoquinimink School District two high schools have performed for national and international audiences this year.

London

In January, the Middletown High School Cavalier marching band crossed the Atlantic Ocean to represent Delaware at the London New Year's Day Parade.

Their six-day trip – the first-ever overseas voyage for the marching band – took them to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and a performance at Cadogan Hall, all before they joined 8,500 other performers for the 28th running of the largest New Year's Day event in the world.

The three-hour parade included performers from more than 20 nations.

"I don't think I could have imagined what an undertaking this would be when we first received the invitation," band director Brian Endlein said days before the trip. "But for all the gray hairs it's given me, it will worth it when I get to see the kids represent the community as they march past the Parliament building, knowing that it's being broadcast for the whole world to see."

Philadelphia

In November, the bands joined forces to participate in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade – the nation’s oldest. The bands marched under the Appoquinimink School District umbrella, rather than as individual high schools, bringing the total number of band members, color guard, and banner carriers to 180.

“This is the first time the two bands are going to Philadelphia for the parade,” said Appoquinimink High School Band Director Ryan Moseley. “It’s really cool. We had our first practice and everyone is really excited to perform for a national audience.”

The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade was broadcasted nationally on the ABC television network.

WHAT’S NEW – The experience of travel has excited band directors and students to continue on their path of musical successes.

“It was very exciting to go to Philadelphia. We had the bands work together and learn a new style,” said Madison Christian, a senior at Appoquinimink High School who plays the flute. “We were on camera and felt kinds of nervous.

The trip to London has also pushed Middletown High School senior Cynthia Pappettas to learn to play more musical instruments and look forward to studying abroad. She currently plays upright base.

“After having such an audience in London that responded to well to us, I want to perform even better. They would ask us where we were from and wanted to know more about us,” Pappettas told the Transcript. “For the future I want to study abroad. I enjoy traveling more now.”

WHAT’S NEXT – The bands will continue to perform at various parades and festivals in months to come. In April, the Appoquinimink marching band will travel to Boston for the Heritage Music Festival.

The Middletown High School Cavalier marching band also has trips scheduled, including one to Washington, D.C.

“[The trips] will definitely be a great experience for our students and wonderful exposure for our community!” said Middletown High School Band Director Brian Endlein.