Bixby marching band heads for London's New Year's Day Parade

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Bixby marching band heads for London's New Year's Day Parade (KTUL)

Hugs, kisses and waves goodbye at the Tulsa International Airport. The Bixby High School marching band is taking its act across the globe.

"We'll have six flights going out of Tulsa and we will meet in London," said Bixby High School Marching Band Director Jeremy Parker.

This is no ordinary trip. The band of about 200 students was chosen to perform in London's New Year's Day Parade and Festival.

"This is kind of a new thing for Bixby, to travel overseas," said Parker. "We've never done this, we're just excited represent the town and school, Bixby and Oklahoma."

"I think it's going to be so much fun with all my friends," said Bixby Clarinet player Hailey Downing.

It's an experience not only for Downing and her bandmates, but her family.

"My whole family and my grandparents are coming with me," said Downing. "It's like our family vacation for this year."

Little by little, they trickled in through security with their instruments in hand. This excitement has been building for two years now.

"They have Ambassadors in the United States that seek out bands to represent some of the states in the London New Year's Day Parade," said Parker. "We were approached two years ago."

Since then, it's been a lot of hard work perfecting each song.

"For them to make that connection between work and practice, and really being devoted to something your passionate about, is really great," said Bixby Public School Superintendent Rob Miller. "This truly is great and I'm so proud of each and every one of them."

Every single bandmate had to pay their own way to make this trip, paying roughly $3,500. What's great is everyone was able to do it, making this once-in-a-lifetime way of ringing in the new year.

The band will spend a week in London. Stillwater's band will also be joining them, making them the second Oklahoma school to perform in the parade.