What Auburn's Marching Band Did at the Outback Bowl
Imagine getting to travel to a new city to spend the new year on the beach with 379 of your closest friends. For the students on Auburn University’s Marching Band, that was exactly the situation.
The whole band traveled with the football team to Tampa, Florida, to cheer on the Tigers against Minnesota’s Golden Gophers. During the four day trip, the band rehearsed the “Woodstock” and Pregame shows in three, two hour long rehearsal sessions. During these rehearsals, according to senior band member, Russell Beck, the band “worked really hard perfecting both shows” prior to the game.
On December 30th, both the Auburn and Minnesota bands had the opportunity to play for Bowl Beach Day at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort. Austin Wyatt, a trumpet player, said, “The pep rally on the beach was one of the highlights of the trip.” It was quite a unique experience for these students as they got to march along the beach with the amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico behind them as they played for hundreds of fans. Afterwards, the band was treated to a catered banquet while cruising around Tampa Bay. During the banquet, the members in leadership positions were given plaques to thank them for their service. Russell Beck said that each leader received “commemorative pictures that showcased their dedication to the organization.”
The band was involved in several great events on New Year’s Eve. Members had the opportunity to spend some time exploring Busch Gardens before performing alongside the Minnesota band once again in Battle of the Bands. Another Marching Band member, Troy Abrams described the experience as one he “will never forget.” After the Battle of the Bands, the group travelled to Ybor City to march in the New Year's Eve parade. Auburn, Minnesota, and several local high school bands marched together and played crowd favorites, such as “War Eagle” and “Glory to Ole Auburn”, to kick off the night’s festivities. Afterwards, the band returned to their resort, where many members made their way to the beach to ring in the New Year and watch the fireworks from a nearby pier.
The next day started early for the band members with a pre-game rehearsal. The band then had some time to take pictures with the iconic Buccaneers' pirate ship and explore the game’s venue, the Raymond James Stadium. The game was a thrill in itself along with several performances including two from Auburn and Minnesota, a dance number featuring cheerleaders from across the country and a show put on by members of as many as fifteen high school bands and 300 dancers. The shows were a mesmerizing conglomeration of artistry and a great experience for all people.
The Marching Band provides excitement for thousands of adoring fans at home and away, this being just one of the many exciting trips that the talented members will get the opportunity to go on during their time in the band. For some, this trip was the end of their journey as performers at Auburn, for others it was another step in that journey as they wait for next season when the band strikes up once again.