NewsPinellas County


St. Pete marching band for all ages going to Ireland

Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 17:44:39-05

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There’s a group of more than 200 Tampa Bay men and women preparing to fly to Ireland for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. However, they aren’t going to watch, they’re going to march.

It’s not your ordinary marching band, they aren’t in high school or college anymore, but they still have the passion to play their hearts out.

The Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band is taking more than 200 members to Ireland to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

“Had a great time doing it and some of those days are what you remember the most, you don’t remember math class or science class, but you do remember the band trips, and the kids who were in it, and the fun you used to have, and people remember that and want to do it again,” said Bill Findeison.

Findeison is the director of the Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band.

“Our goal originally was to make it a big deal and if we are going to make it a big deal it has to have a big name,” said Findeison.

Over the past 40 years they continue to turn up the volume, growing from 75 members to 300.

“We’re such a diverse group of individuals, all ages from 18 to 80, and everything in-between,” said rounderette Leja Apple.

Piccolo player Carly Green is a second-generation band member. She can’t wait to march alongside her mom and dad down the streets of Dublin.

“I was literally born into this band, these people are literally my family,” said Green.

If you’re wondering how these Tampa Bay musicians got the green light to join Ireland’s biggest party, they were invited.

“The Lord Mayor of Dublin has been part of a committee that does these searches for these American bands,” said trombone player Mark Deen.

Deen said after being on a hiatus for nearly two years due to the pandemic, it’s an honor for the band to be welcomed back on such an international stage.

“To be able to go over to Dublin Ireland and just represent the city, state, country that’s really huge and I know they’ll really appreciate this band because we are so unique,” said Deen.