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Funk marching from Dayton to Dublin

Junior mellophone player Tori Miller is thrilled to be heading to Dublin, Ireland with the Pride of Dayton Marching Band. It will be a St. Patrick’s Day she will never forget.

While many people hit the beach for Spring Break, members of the Pride of Dayton Marching Band will be funking through Dublin, Ireland. On March 17, 2022, I will have the honor of participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade alongside some of my best friends. With 133 performers – 23 alumni in the mix – there’s plenty of anticipation and excitement for a journey that’s been in the works for years.

“I will have the honor of walking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade alongside some of my best friends.”

In 2017, POD Director Kenneth Will submitted videos and other media to receive an exclusive invitation to the parade. We have been selected by a committee, and after a long delay due to COVID-19, we will finally have the opportunity to go. We board the plane on March 13 and fly over the pond.

Even with all the uncertainty surrounding the state of international travel, we had to plan and prepare as if we were 100% sure we were going. We had to get passports, know what to pack, apply for scholarships and grow our savings accounts. We also had to call our cellphone and credit card companies, work with the university’s international travel program, and learn to engage respectfully as we learn about Irish culture. As an example of thorough travel preparation, I suggest Abby Southworth, Deputy Managing Director of POD. Hailing from New Orleans, she’s been packed and ready to go since the Christmas break.

Of all the artists in the parade, POD is going to stand out. We’re not only passionate when we play, but our long tradition of funk walking and stealth dancing is guaranteed to grab the audience’s attention. When the drum beat begins, words cannot describe how excited I will be to have my mellophone in one hand and hear the explosive chants of the parade watchers. Seth Adams ’21, a former POD drum major, said he was delighted to perform this routine again and leave the people of Ireland with a bit of Dayton.

As well as the parade we will also be performing at Kilkenny Castle. Our journey isn’t just about our two performances, though; we’ll also see all that Ireland has to offer, including visiting historical museums, eating delicious food at local restaurants and looking over the Cliffs of Moher – which I personally look forward to most!

“I’m beyond excited to take this trip.”

I am more than happy to take this trip. As POD’s EMT, I’m responsible for taking the safety gear as well as managing the fitness plan to make sure our funk kicks are ready. As a student writer for UD Magazine, I will also compile the sights and sounds of the trip. I can’t wait to share the highlights of the trip with you in the summer issue!

Tori Miller is a student writer for Journal of the University of Dayton. Pictures of Meredith Robinson ’24.

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes