Florida or bust!
Marching Lynx depart today for Gator Bowl events
December 27. 2012 6:00AM
Abby Voigt can’t wait to get back on the parade route.
Voigt, one of four Marching Lynx commanders, is excited to experience all that Florida has to offer the group during their weeklong winter break getaway.
“I’m most excited for the parade,” she said. “Being a senior and in band for four years, I know what the other bands are like (that we compete against). But this will be completely different, a completely new competition.”
The 127-member band and nine chaperones are scheduled to leave Brandon at 5:30 this morning, weather permitting. Marching Lynx director Jesse Miller anticipates the Brandon Valley entourage will arrive at Melbourne Beach, Fla., 30 to 34 hours later, where they’ll unwind at an ocean-poolside beach BBQ.
Later that evening, the Marching Lynx will fine-tune their parade and half-time music selections one of two football fields that have been reserved for the band during the week.
The band’s second day in the warmer climate will be spent at Universal Studios. They’ll enjoy a partial day at Sea World on day three before departing for Jacksonville, Fla., to prepare for Gator Bowl events.
In the morning hours of the last day of the year, the Marching Lynx will gather with six other high school bands from across the U.S., for a run through of the halftime show. At noon, they’ll begin the 1.5-mile trek through the Gator Bowl Parade. The parade won’t be aired locally, but News Channel 4 in Jacksonville, Fla., will live stream the parade at News4Jax.com.
The massive halftime show – to be performed before a capacity crowd of 77,000 – is a tribute to the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps. The combined bands have prepared three fitting numbers, “Hold On I’m Comin’,” “Rescue Me” and “Respect.”
“The one thing that’s truly unique about an experience like this, is very few organizations can come together for one day and perform for 77,000 people,” Miller said.
This is the second band trip for Voigt, who took in the California trip as a freshman. She said that experience helped her to get to know the upperclassmen in the band.
“It was a good transition into high school and I developed a lot of relationships,” she said.
Miller said he hopes the students “experience things they may never have experienced before,” he said. “Forty or 50 years down the road, they’ll be watching the Gator Bowl with friends and family, and be able to say, ‘I did that.’ ”
Director Laura Baker said she hopes for the kids to forge new friendships on this trip.
“I think it’s cool to see how the kids mix and broaden their horizons,” she said.
Although there’s plenty of fun scheduled, the trip doubles as a unique learning experience for the musicians, too.
“This will be great exposure for us and a good chance to see what other students are doing from all parts of the country,” Miller said. “And I know our students are looking forward to representing our school and our state down there.”
Band students and the BV Band Parents have been raising funds the last three years for the trip. Proceeds from holiday concerts, frozen food and raffle ticket sales, turkey suppers and Big Sioux Review are funding the $1,150 per person trip.
“The Band Parents have done an awesome job and have made sure that every kid that gets off the bus has meal money,” Baker said. “We also want to thank the community for all of their support. We’ve been very blessed as a community and we want to make sure they’re thanked for that.”