Noblesville High School’s Marching Millers perform in Ireland


The Marching Millers, Noblesville High School’s marching band, recently traveled to Dublin to perform in a St. Patrick’s Day festival.

According to Eric Thornbury, director of bands for Noblesville Schools, 11 international bands and three bands from Ireland participated in the festival’s parade. The process of getting to perform at the festival began a few years ago.

“We applied in 2022 for the 2024 parade,” Thornbury said. “We sent in videos, pictures of our band and a letter of recommendation from a drum corps designer who is familiar with our marching band.”

The band, which has 108 members, departed for Dublin March 11. Besides performing, Thornbury said they toured Ireland throughout the week.

“We arrived in Dublin on March 12 and began our tour of Ireland, which included Blarney Castle,” Thornbury said. “We took a tour of the Ring of Kerry and went to the Cliffs of Moher. We (also) had a medieval dinner in a castle and experienced an evening of Irish music and dance.”

Thornbury said the parade was the highlight of the trip.

“The culmination of the trip was definitely the parade with well over a half-million people along the parade route,” Thornbury said. “They were all very into the parade and our band much more than any parade I have done in my 32 years of directing bands.”

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The Marching Millers at the St. Patrick’s Day festival parade in Dublin. (Photo courtesy of Eric Thornbury)

Thornbury wants the band to travel to more events, states and nations in the future and said it positively impacts students.

“Our experience this year is something we would love to have future Marching Millers experience,” Thornbury said. “Music and band create many opportunities for our students to travel. We have taken a band to New York, Chicago and Honolulu, Hawaii. So, we will begin to investigate where we will travel in the future now. It takes a lot of planning ahead.”

Noblesville bands and schools also benefit from the publicity for having made the trip.

“The magnitude and publicity from marching continues to build on the reputation of excellence we strive for in our band program,” Thornbury said. “Traveling internationally says a lot to other parade organizers about what our program can do. I would also say that what our students learn by traveling together and the responsibility they take on as we travel has a positive effect on our entire band program.”

For more about the Marching Millers, visit