Welcoming the new year across seas

The Chanticleer Regiment Marching Band visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Chanticleer Regiment Marching Band spent their winter break overseas to participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade. They have been preparing for this trip for over a year and could not have been more excited.  


Some marching band members never went abroad before, and others had never even stepped on a plane. With the help and support of the University, local communities, and loved ones, the regiment had a smooth and easy transition to the United Kingdom. 


After a seven-hour long flight, members of the marching band were thrilled to be in a new country and back on land. They were amazed at the major differences from the United States that London displayed. People were driving on the opposite side, stoplights and signs were at different heights, and the time difference was five hours ahead of their usual Eastern Time Zone.  

To avoid jet lag, the Chanticleer Regiment absorbed the new culture by taking the “tube” (also known as a subway) and walking along the streets of the city. Some members immediately picked out souvenirs and others took the time to take pictures. Though it was an eventful first day, the Chants were excited to begin their journey in the United Kingdom.  


Although the Chanticleer Regiment Marching Band was invited to perform in the New Year’s Day parade, they explored various parts of London and its wonders.  


With the help of their tour guides, the band got a chance to ride and walk through many iconic places to learn more about its history while making a few stops for pictures. They even witnessed a subtle version of London’s famous “changing of the guard” event due to the rainy weather. Though their day was filled with new memories, the regiment supported certain members later in the night as they performed in their brass, percussion and wind ensembles in concert series with other colleges and high schools. 


On New Year’s Eve, the Chanticleer Regiment took a tour of Oxford University and its neighboring city. While touring, they were met with the presence of Coastal Carolina University President Michael Benson as he admired his alma mater. They learned more about the area and bought iconic university merchandise.  


Later in the day, the Chants celebrated and welcomed the new year together at their hotel. 


London’s New Year’s Day Parade was full of people, laughter, and a lot of confetti. CCU mascot Chauncey and the Chanticleer Regiment Marching Band marched down the streets as thousands of people cheered them on and sang to their music. As the performance was broadcasted on international TV, every member undoubtingly felt an overwhelming amount of joy and pride in their school and themselves.  


It was a truly remarkable moment that will be with them forever. 


Following the parade, the marching band went on two grand tours for their last days in the U.K. They experienced royalty at Windsor Castle and saw many illustrious rooms and paintings. They saw many local restaurants after touring the castle and tried known dishes such as “fish and chips.”  


The next day, everyone went on a boat ride to the Tower of London and saw a great view of the London Eye and the famous Big Ben. They saw the crown jewels and took in the last moments of their journey. 


The Chanticleer Regiment Marching Band was given the opportunity of a lifetime. This trip was filled with unforgettable memories that members will cherish. Myself and other members are thankful for the support behind the experience and take pride in representing CCU through music and visuals.