Downers Grove

Downers Grove North fine arts students to perform in London

DOWNERS GROVE – Fine arts faculty and students from Downers Grove North High School have been invited to perform in London’s New Year’s Day Parade & Choral Festival on Jan. 1, 2023. The school welcomed members of the event committee from England for a ceremony and reception Nov. 17.

The committee was greeted by district and school administrators, and North High band and choirs kicked off the ceremony by performing in the auditorium, a news release stated. The London delegates who formally invited North High School to London in 2023 included Bob Bone, London’s New Year’s Day Parade founder and executive director; Steve Summers, who chairs the London Mayors’ Association; and Jonathan Whaley, director of International Participation.

The delegates presented the invitation to District 99 Superintendent Hank Thiele; Principal Courtney DeMent; Brayer Teague, who chairs the fine arts department; and Downers Grove Mayor Robert Barnett.

“On behalf of the Fine Arts Department, we are honored to be invited to perform in London,” Teague said in the release. “The New Year’s Day parade is one of the greatest parades in the world, and our marching band is thrilled to have the opportunity to return. The London International Choral Festival will be an outstanding performance opportunity for our singers, and we are excited to plan a cross-disciplinary tour that involves so many student musicians.”

Teague said it was a pleasure meeting the committee members, and introducing them to the district and school administrators, as well as to the talented students and faculty.

“North High School band and choir students will have a life-changing week in the historic city of London performing in the parade and immersing in a full educational program visiting museums, historic sites and places of architectural and artistic interest,” Bone stated in the release. “We look forward to seeing the North High School students and staff to ring in the new year in 2023.”

In the parade, North High band students will perform to a street audience of over half a million people, with up to 600 million around the world watching on television. The parade will stream on the PBS network in the United States. In the festival concert series, choir students will perform to packed houses in some of London’s most prestigious music venues, the release stated. The North High School Fine Arts Department participated in the parade in 2019 and 2015.

For more information about the parade, visit