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USF Herd of Thunder

USF Herd of Thunder

While more than 200 members of the University of South Florida Herd of Thunder wrapped up 2016 by joining the football team at the Birmingham Bowl, about 110 of their fellow marching band members started out 2017 playing in Italy.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida Herd of Thunder is doing some holiday traveling.

More than two hundred members of the marching band are headed to Alabama Tuesday to back the football team at the Birmingham Bowl.

Then, on Wednesday, over a hundred of their fellow band members will be flying to Italy to march in the Rome New Year’s Parade.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

For the second time in four years, the University of South Florida Herd of Thunder Marching Band will ring in the New Year overseas – this time in Rome.

According to Matthew McCutchen, director of USF’s Athletic Bands, the Herd was invited to perform in the Rome New Year’s Parade by the same organization that invited them to perform in front of a half a million people in London’s New Year’s Day Parade in 2013.

Jason Bombaugh / USF HOT

USF's Herd of Thunder (HOT) marching band rang in 2013 by playing London's New Year's Day Parade in front of an estimated crowd of more than half a million people. Band members and some of the staff that traveled with them shared their memories of the trip with WUSF's University Beat. Here are half a dozen 'high notes:'

1. HOT was the featured band, marching the two mile route through historic downtown London after almost 10-thousand band members, cheerleaders and other performers had already gone past the huge crowd.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

The USF Herd of Thunder marching band had an eventful 2012, which included performances on the Today show and at the Republican National Convention.

But 2013 might be tough to top, as they'll ring in the New Year with possibly the most important performance in band history.

More than a hundred members of the USF marching band, along with two alumni members who now live overseas, will take part in London's 27th annual New Year's Day Parade. The HOT is the only major American university band invited to the event, which is expected to be seen by more than 220 million people worldwide. The parade will be broadcast by WUSF TV.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

It could be the biggest performance ever for USF's "Herd of Thunder," as the band has been invited to march in the New Year's Day Parade in London, England, on January 1, 2013.

This week's University Beat on WUSF 89.7 talks to band members and officials, as well as parade executives and the Former Lord Mayor of Westminster, England (the great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill).