London Trip Information

January 25th, 2012

Preliminary Information

Dear 2012 USF “Herd of Thunder” Marching Band,

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to announce that we have accepted an invitation to perform in the 2013 New Year’s Day Parade in London, England. The offer was issued in the summer of 2011 and was discussed thoroughly by the Band Directors, College of The Arts administrators, Athletic Department, Provost, and President Genshaft throughout the Fall Semester. All involved recognize the significance of the invitation and the unique opportunity this presents to promote USF on an international stage. Thus the uppermost administrators of the university are proudly endorsing this opportunity. I have informed the parade and travel directors that we intend to participate. The next step is to get an accurate count of how many members of the HOT Band will be making the trip.

Below is an outline of the information that I currently have. Nothing is in stone at this point and many details will change and adapt as the trip grows closer. Many things – such as the final price – will not be solidified until we know for certain how many students will be going. However, this is a good start, and should answer many of your initial questions.

WHAT

New Year’s Day Parade and Festival, London, 2012/13 http://www.londonparade.co.uk

WHO

Open to all members of the 2012 USF Herd of Thunder Marching Band.

WHEN

December 27, 2012 – January 3, 2013

HOW MUCH

This is where it gets a bit tricky. The estimated amount for each participant is $3,000.

Our contract states the following: All prices in US dollars. A portion of the total package is paid in pounds sterling and thus is subject to exchange rate fluctuation which can impact the price of the total package upwards or downwards. All prices include airline, airport and governments taxes, fees, charges and surcharges (including fuel surcharges) as at today’s rates. The sum of this basket of charges and taxes may vary and should it do so we will vary the package rate upward or downward accordingly.

Furthermore, these prices are assuming a total of 125-175 paying members. If those numbers fluctuate wildly in either direction the price could also change. I do not intend to take the band if we have fewer than 100 playing members committed to the trip.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

A)  RETURNING MEMBERS

1. All students who have marched with the Herd of Thunder in the past and are planning to go on the trip will follow the payment schedule listed.

2. Payments must be made by check to help keep accurate records. Checks should be made to “Florida Wind Band” and should be given directly to Jason Bombaugh. They can be mailed in over the summer to:

Herd of Thunder Marching Band
Attn:  Jason Bombaugh
4202 E. Fowler Ave. MUS 101
Tampa, FL 33620
Please ask Mr. Bombaugh for a receipt acknowledging that your payment has been received.

*First Deposit – $200 by February 20, 2012
*Second Deposit – $400 by March 30, 2012
*Third Deposit – $400 by May 25, 2012
*Fourth Deposit – $1,000 by August 31, 2012
*Final Payment – $1,000 (or final adjusted amount) by October 29, 2012

$100 from the first deposit is non refundable in any circumstance. As of April 1, 2011 the full $200 first deposit becomes non refundable. All other deposits are refundable until May 30, 2011. After that, no refunds will be made. Please understand that this is directly from our travel company and is out of the hands of the Herd of Thunder Marching Band.

B) NEW MEMBERS

All new members of the 2012 Herd of Thunder are welcome and encouraged to go on this trip. Since auditions do not take place until the week of band camp I will make the following options available to you.

  1. If you are confident that you will be attending USF and marching with us in the fall you can follow the schedule laid out above. We will deposit your money into our accounts and hold it until you are formally accepted into the band.

Please include a note with your payment that states that you are a new member.  This will ensure that we hold your money until you are accepted into the band.

2. You can wait until you have been accepted into the band and then follow this payment plan.

*First Deposit – $2,000 – August 31, 2012
*Final Payment – $1,000 (or final adjusted amount) by October 29, 2012

OTHER COSTS

In addition to the trip fee outlined above students will be responsible for the following:

1. Having/obtaining a current, valid passport – http://travel.state.gov/passport/

2. A handful of meals (including most lunches) on your own. You will be notified of exactly how many before we leave.

3. Any spending/souvenir money that you wish to take

If more items arise I will add them to this list.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TRIP

1) Participation in the 27th New Year’s Day Parade and Festival, London. The parade route goes through Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall. A street audience in excess of half a million and a worldwide television broadcast reaching over 220 million people will see this.

2) Round trip air travel. We will probably leave from Orlando, but they will keep watching to see if Tampa becomes a possibility.

3) Six nights in a centrally located first class hotel in London including a continental breakfast each morning.

4) Three dinners in the London hotel or in convenient restaurants.

5) Several sightseeing trips. I will select tours from a list that includes Windsor, Hampton Court, Canterbury, Dover, Stonehenge, Bath, Greenwich, the Tower of London, the City of Oxford, and Stratford upon Avon (home of Shakespeare – you might have heard of him). In addition, there may be a performance or two that USF will specifically ask us to do to help spread the name and reputation of the university. There will be ample time for individual sightseeing experiences as well.

NOTES

1) First and foremost I want you to know that I believe this to be a tremendous testament to the reputation of the band that

a) we were selected, and
b) our administration and athletic department is allowing us to go. The fact that this trip falls in the middle of bowl season, and yet we are still being encouraged to attend is a testimony to your value and importance to the entire university.

2) I am fully aware that not every student in the band will be able to go on the trip with us. For those of you who do not, rest assured that the whole season will not be geared towards these 6 days. Our primary mission remains to support our athletic teams, entertain our audiences, and represent our university, and thus our performances throughout the fall will still be the focus of the band.

3) If the bowl game falls before or after the London trip all members of the band will still be required to attend. If it falls during the trip those students who do not go to London will go to the game. At this point it is unlikely that we will be able to do a field show, but participation in the stands and at events surrounding the game are still important. Depending on the numbers and instrumentation we may open the bowl to alumni as well.

4) In 2003/04 I took my high school band on this trip. It was an amazing opportunity and remains one of the highlights of my career. I’m very much looking forward to taking the Herd of Thunder to London not only for the experiences it will offer to our students, but also because it gives an international audience the chance to see what a truly outstanding group of people and musicians you are.