SME Band Trip 2022-2023 – London New Years Parade & Festival

When is the trip?

December 27, 2022 – January 3, 2023

Who is invited on this trip?

Every student in the SME band program (marching, concert, jazz) will have an opportunity to perform. Parents and siblings are also welcome to travel in both chaperone and non-chaperone capacities, although we take an “all hands on deck” approach. If you are not a chaperone you will be asked to help in some capacity (help students with uniforms, move equipment, run to get toiletries, etc)

What are our performance opportunities?

  • Performance in the New Years Day Parade, which runs from Piccadilly Circus through historic downtown London, ending at Big Ben
  • Jazz and Concert Band Performance in the New Years Gala Festival at Cadogan Hall, home to The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and second home to the BBC Promenade Concert season, St. John’s Smith Square or Westminster Central Hall. 

What Educational and/or cultural opportunities are included in the trip?

  • A half day educational tour of London’s historic West End and City
  • A half day to The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. The Tower has served as a royal palace, fortress, prison, place of execution, mint, menagerie and jewel house during its 900 year history. Attractions in the Tower include the Bloody Tower, Traitors Gate, the Chapel of St. John and the Jewel House where the Crown Jewels of England are on show. 
  • A short panoramic boat trip on the River Thames. The River Thames that flows through the heart of London is the reason that our great capital city is built where it is. 
  • A ¾ day tour of Windsor and Windsor Castle. Twenty five miles to the west of London lies Windsor, whose 11th century castle is the seat and primary home of the British Royal family. 
  • A ¾ day tour of Oxford. Oxford is home to the oldest university in the English speaking world. 
  • A special branded personal (to keep) credit card sized MP3 player for each participant loaded with a selection of our specially commissioned audio guided, historical, cultural and entertaining walking tours of London. Each audio guided walk has a duration of approximately 2 hours. All walks carefully researched by historians, scripted and performed by professional writers and actors Itineraries will have all three of these tours: 
    • Southbank Stroll – An unique exploration of the South Bank of the River Thames in the historic Borough of Southwark, featuring, The Shakespearean Globe Playhouse, Francis Drake’s ship the ‘Golden Hind’, Southwark Cathedral and The fabulous Borough Marke. 
    • LNYDP Parade Route – This takes you along the magnificent New Year’s Day Parade route. Discover where you’ll be marching, what you’ll be passing, and where the crowds will be cheering from. 
    • Rock and Roll Capital – London is the rock and roll capital of the world- The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Swinging Sixties, Glam Rock, Punk Rock, Brit Pop and more. 
  • Directions for Guide and Seek, our special Treasure Trail. All you need is a pen, and our map book (provided) to unravel the secret trail and find the hidden clues. 
  • Directions – a map and notes – for a self-guided walk entitled Princes, Palaces and Power Walk shoulder to shoulder with over 1000 years of Royalty. Sites include: Palace of Westminster, and the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
  • Arrangements for a strictly student orientated and controlled ‘New Year’s Eve Celebration’ at our London hotel. The party will take place in a private room, with a professional ‘disco’ and light show. To add to the party mood included are rocket balloons, glow worms, party poppers and other party favors. 

How much does is cost?

  • $3,600 (tentative, depending on airfare and exchange rates)
  • First deposit: $250 due 11/15. $100 is non-refundable. The remainder is refundable until February 2022. The remaining payments are refundable until May 2022.

What is included in the price?

  • Round-trip airfare between KCI & London
  • Six (6) nights accommodation in a centrally located superior first class hotel in London. Students will generally be accommodated in twin or double bedded rooms but a number of quad and triple bedded rooms will be used for students in some of our properties. .Adults are guaranteed to be accommodated in twin or double-bedded rooms, and may pay a surcharge for a room for single occupancy. Some family rooms are available in selected hotels offering accommodation for 4 people. All rooms have en – suite facilities including bath and/or shower and W.C. 
  • Substantial buffet breakfast with a large range of sweet and savoury cold items plus a varying short selection of hot items, each day in London – 6 meals. 
  • Three dinners in the London hotel. Each dinner will consist of at least two courses served from specially pre-selected menus 
  • A special sack lunch for Parade Day, consisting of a ‘deli’ sandwich, dessert item, piece of fresh fruit, a pack of a dry snack and a bottled drink. 
  • Round trip transfers from London airport to hotel by luxury coach, including specialist ‘meet and greet’ service on arrival, and check – in assistance service on departure. 
  • Specially arranged carriage of all musical equipment from airport to hotel and vice versa. Provision of secure storage room at hotel dedicated on a per group basis. 
  • Entrance fees, tickets, and chartered transportation to all educational/cultural tours
  • Professional local guide who will accompany the group on all tours and events
  • Pizza and an allowance of soft drinks (sodas) will be provided at the New year’s Eve party to help ensure a memorable New Year in London. 
  • Membership for one year of the ‘Youth Music Performers Club’ (YM Performers Club). This includes the YMOTW/Performance Travel Limited specially written comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy. 
  • A digital copy of the group photograph that is taken on January 1st 2023. 
  • A specially struck 2022/23 London New Year’s Day Parade Festival Medal for all members of the performing group. 
  • For all non performing group members priority booking on the highly sought after tickets for the New Year’s Day Parade Grandstands and complimentary ticket to all concerts that the group might play in London and. Priority booking and complimentary concert tickets only to non performing bona fide group members. 
  • All tips and taxes to all service providers. It is considered appropriate for a gratuity to be presented to the residential Tour Assistant at the end of the performance program, which is not included. 

Will there be fundraising available for this trip? How much can we expect to raise?

The Band Boosters will run a variety of fundraisers that will benefit the group as much as possible. Due to IRS limitations on 501c3 nonprofit organizations, the SME Band Boosters are only able to run fundraising activities that benefit the entire group. When we traveled to Italy in 2018-2019, the boosters contributed to the following:

  • Jackets and t-shirts for all traveling students
  • Buses to and from KCI
  • Extra lunches/food/snacks not included in the price of the trip
  • Donations that lowered the overall price of the group travel

An additional fund named the SME Band Trip Fund was established in 2018 that operates outside these IRS restrictions which was able to offer the following:

  • Individual trip payment collections and travel company payments
  • Emergency funds for directors and chaperones
  • Fundraisers benefitting individual students

We learned a lot from our trip to Rome, Italy in 2018-2019 and are confident we will execute more successful fundraisers to lighten the financial load for all travelers more significantly this time around. We will be seeking corporate donations, sponsorships and pledges, as well as more aggressive advertising in the months to come. All that said, the best individual fundraiser for a student is a part time job! Learning to work and save money for a goal can be a very satisfying life lesson. A student in 2018 financed her entire trip by babysitting.

If you have any fundraising ideas or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a director or the band boosters, smebandboosters@gmail.com

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