Holiday Events and Bowl Games for your Student Performance Group

Dec 8, 2015

Travel Notes

The holiday season brings numerous events for marching bands. From the excitement of a Thanksgiving Day performance in one of the world’s most visited theme parks, to the thrill of performing during a college bowl game, we’ve selected six holiday performances that will leave lasting memories with your students.

Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World® Resort

If you are looking to work with professional musicians in a mass band format in warmer weather, then the Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World® Resort is the perfect option. Bands clinic and rehearse with the world-renowned Boston Brass, before presenting a 20 minute “Thanksgiving Day Spectacular” at the center of Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. The performance includes a professional Disney announcer and a live broadcast on banddirector.com. Afterward, celebrate the students’ accomplishment with an extravagant Thanksgiving dinner in Epcot®, complete with special guests and live entertainment. Additionally, choirs can perform at the annual Walt Disney World® Candlelight Processional and Massed Choir Program, which holds its first event the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Hollywood Christmas Parade

Head off to the west coast for some California sun and the star treatment during the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Held the Sunday after Thanksgiving, your band will march through Hollywood and past some of Tinseltown’s most famous landmarks. While in the area you can experience the magic of the Disneyland® Resort, ride a wave in Santa Monica, and catch a performance of the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a great opportunity to take in some sunshine in November, as well as check out many of Southern California’s famous attractions.

Outback Bowl

Taking place in sunny Tampa, Florida, the Outback Bowl provides bands with the opportunity to perform as a part of a mass band halftime event in an NFL stadium. The event includes festival competitions for concert, jazz, and marching bands, making it an ideal trip for the entire band department. Bands can also participate in the Outback Bowl Parade, which takes place during the evening before the game in Tampa’s historic Ybor City.  The Tampa area is home to a number of student friendly attractions, including Busch Gardens (where groups enjoy an included New Year’s Eve fireworks show and awards celebration) and the beaches of Clearwater. Furthermore, Tampa is only a one hour drive from the Walt Disney World® Resort, making it easy to combine your bowl game performance with a trip to see your favorite Disney characters.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Pack your bags and instruments for sunny San Antonio, Texas, to take part in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This mass band event, during halftime of the bowl game, also features a marching show festival. As an added bonus, the festival winner performs their field show before the game’s kickoff. Bands also love performing in the unique Alamo Bowl Pep Rally, in which bands perform on barges floating along the famous River Walk. The festivities culminate in an awards ceremony featuring dinner and dancing at the Downtown Convention Center. In your free time, be sure to stop by The Alamo and take in the atmosphere of the River Walk.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Head on down to the Big Easy for an opportunity to perform in the prestigious Sugar Bowl. Formerly one of the four BCS bowls (the other three being the Orange, Fiesta, and Rose Bowls), the Sugar Bowl is now a part of the College Football Playoff. The event features the Sugar Bowl Battle of the Bands field show competition, a New Year’s Eve awards party, a performance at Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, and a mass band performance during the game’s halftime. While in town, be sure to take in all of the culture, food, and music of New Orleans.

Liberty Bowl

The home of Elvis (Memphis, Tennessee) is also the home of one of our top picks for bowl games. The Liberty Bowl is an ideal choice for groups on a more limited budget, who still want the full experience of participating in a bowl game. The event features clinics for jazz, concert, and marching bands, allowing you to include your entire band program. On the day prior to the game, show off what you learned during the Liberty Bowl Parade on Beale Street in downtown Memphis. When game day arrives, everyone rehearses for the mass band halftime event on the field of the stadium in which they will be performing. Check out attractions such as Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum while you are in town.

Bob Rogers Travel is ready to customize your ideal tour to any of these events, and beyond. Contact us to start planning a meaningful and turn-key experience today!

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