It was certainly a case of reaching out to the world – when the Jacksonville State University band performed at the Vatican Tuesday – at the conclusion of Pope Francis’ New Year’s Day blessing. Afterwards they played several songs, including the JSU Fight Song.
The band, known as the Marching Southerners, also performed in the annual “World Peace Day Parade”, and marched through the streets of Rome playing “Ode to Joy” – for more than 100,000 spectators.
They were one of a select few American bands invited to perform at the Vatican on Tuesday according to the university. The JSU band has played other high-profile events in recent years, including the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack in 2016 in Honolulu, the 2012 New Year’s Parade in London, and the 1996 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.