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The Kilkenny Bop

The Kilkenny Bop

Rebecca Sutton ’25 July 25, 2022

My feet crunch on the glorious green grass as I walk with a cold, shiny trumpet in my hand alongside more than 100 other musicians and color guard members wearing red, white and blue uniforms and eager expressions. 

On the seventh day of the Pride of Dayton trip to Ireland, we gather in a clearing in front of Kilkenny Castle on the banks of the River Nore, taking our positions in what we call the “Kilkenny Block.” I love the Kilkenny Block, since I am surrounded by some of my best friends from the trumpet section. 

Pride of Dayton rehearses before the big parade one the lawn of a castle.
The audience was clapping before the band even finished their performance on the castle lawn, giving students the energy for even higher kicks.


From the beginning of our warm-up, I feel immensely focused, like the only thing in the world is me and my trumpet. We are there to sound good, have fun and give all of these people — such a large crowd! — the best performance we can give.

“I feel immensely focused, like the only thing in the world is me and my trumpet.”

We fly through our repertoire with ease, including the crowd-pleasing “Go Dayton Flyers.” The Pride of Dayton just doesn’t play music; we dance, too! Nothing tops the raw power of Cameo’s “Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck.” The song literally jump-starts, as everyone in the band jumps from the first sousaphone note. I hit high notes with ease, smile at my friends, “stir a pot” with our trumpets, see how much the crowd enjoys it and live in the moment. When the song ends, we dramatically stop with our horns up, and the crowd goes wild.

To close our performance, we sing our alma mater with our arms draped around each other. 

Standing in front of that marvelous castle, I have never been so happy to be a part of the Pride of Dayton. 


Rebecca Sutton 25 is a sophomore psychology major from Milford, New Jersey, and a student writer for University of Dayton Magazine. 

From Dayton to Dublin