You may remember in October of 2016 when officials from the London New Years Day Parade came all the way to Tuscaloosa to extend a formal invitation to perform in the parade…to the Tuscaloosa County High School Band.

That excitement has now faded since the trip has been cancelled because of the recent terror attacks on London. We were able to speak with county high band director Dr. Jed Smart today on the phone about his decision.

“There was a heightened sense that we might not be safe over there,” Smart told WVUA 23. I think that gamble I’m taking is with the students and their safety is my number one concern.” 

While the students were disappointed, they all understand his better safe than sorry reasoning.

“It was good not to go,” TCHS senior Jacob Youngblood exclaimed. “We would not want to get over there and something bad happen. Considering that the New Years Day Parade was going to be such a big event. It’s a good call not to attend that event.”

What about when it comes to being reimbursed for the trip? Many students and their families had already put money up.

“The board attorneys are looking at the time track and I did tell the parents and students at the meeting that I would do everything i could do to lighten this burden on them,” Smart said. “The last time to cancel without any financial penalty was May first. ”

Dr. Smart tells WVUA 23 that 49 band members were initially signed up to make the trip and that around half of those  dropped out for one reason or another before the trip was cancelled.

Only 12 students were up to date on their payments, which totaled $1,400 per student.


All donations will be returned to donors, but it’s still unknown if any money will be returned to the students and their families.

Categories: Local News