We’re proud to have welcomed such a distinguished list of marching bands to the Rome New Year’s Parade. We encourage you to read their testimonial letters and additional comments below.

Testimonial 1 Testimonial 2 Testimonial 3

Additional Comments from Past Participants

“I have never done anything with the band that was more exciting than the Rome New Year’s Parade. We were literally under the apartment window of the Pope. Even after numerous appearances in the Tournament of Roses Parade, London New Year’s Parade, Macy’s Parade, Dublin St. Patrick’s Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, the Rome New Year’s Parade ranks as one of the greatest trips we have ever taken. It was just an emotional roller coaster all the way.”

Paul Parets, Former Director
Alexis I. duPont Tiger Marching Band, Wilmington, DE

“I would like to thank all of the Gateway staff and guides for the tremendous job you did of helping us prepare for, plan, and execute this trip. It was, by far, the BEST trip this program has taken, and not just because of the wonderful country and performance opportunities. We felt as though all of our needs were met and Gateway was available to assist us at all times. In addition, it felt as though the entire group was enjoying the experience together – from the students, to the staff, the parents, alumni, your staff, and the guides. We appreciate the collaborative and experience-centered approach of Gateway Music Festivals & Tours and the personal dedication each of you demonstrated to our group. Thank you for helping us provide our program and all who joined us with an unforgettable trip experience. We look forward to working with you again in the near future!”

Scott Rikkers, Director
James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg, VA

“We have participated twice now, this is indeed ‘experiences of a lifetime’ for our students and directors. Performing for thousands in St. Peter’s square was a thrill for us all. I highly encourage bands to travel to Italy to experience the warmth of the Italian people. Every aspect of this trip was remarkable!”

Dr. Neal Schnoor, Former Director
University of Nebraska Kearney Pride of the Plains Marching Band, Kearney, NE

“Thank you for an awesome trip — very well-organized trip all the way around.”

Steve Nedzel, Former Assoc. Director
Lincoln-Way Central Marching Knights, New Lenox, IL

“I have been traveling with bands for 20+ years. The Rome New Year’s Parade was one of the highlights of my career. My students are in awe of the experience. I can’t say enough good things. Thank you!”

Michael Aycock, Former Director
Spain Park High School, Hoover, AL

“This trip to Italy was a huge success and was more than I expected. Every aspect was spectacular, I rate this tour a perfect 10 out of 10!”

Robert Owens, Director
East Coweta High School, Sharpsburg, GA

“Being a marching band in Italy is like being a celebrity. So many people came up to us to ask for pictures. Our tour guides cried when we played our music. The crowd kept pushing at us to get closer and closer. I’ve never played for a more energetic and appreciative audience. All in all, definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”

James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg, VA