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SRU marching band dubbed "Best International Band" at international band championship in Ireland

March 18, 2019 News Extra

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The Marching Pride from Slippery Rock University performs in the St. Patrick's Day parade Sunday in Dublin, Ireland.

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock University's marching band, the Marching Pride, earned three awards during its trip to Ireland.

The band performed at the 2019 St. Patrick's Day Festival on March 17, capturing the event's “Best Adult Band” and “Best Overall Band” parade awards.

Jonathan Helmick, SRU assistant professor of music and director of bands, said winning the awards was a surprise, but the students earned that honor through their hard work.

“(Winning these awards) really says something about the caliber of what is going on, not only in our program, but throughout the University,” Helmick said. “Magic can happen and for us, it happened live in front of a half-million people.”

The group marched along a two-mile parade route through the streets of Dublin as one of 11 marching bands from three countries and eight states at the event.

The band also earned “Best International Band” on Monday at the Limerick International Band Championship, competing in front of 30,000 people and performing alongside 19 other bands comprised of more than 1,000 musicians.

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