Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Marching Band TripsEmily Ward
A Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Marching Band Trip is a great way for your band to combine fun, history and a national bowl game experience! Since 1968, the Peach Bowl has been a treasured event in Atlanta, Georgia, with two stellar football teams battling it out for the George P. Crumbley Trophy. Created by the Lions Clubs, the Peach Bowl was originally designed to be a fundraiser. It struggled and was taken over by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. In the late 1990s, fast-food giant, Chick-fil-A, stepped in as a premier sponsor. It’s still the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and if you are a fan of college football, you know well that this game is one of the top 10 college football bowl games in the country.
In 2018 the West High School Marching Band from Knoxville, Tennessee, received some great news: it had been chosen to give a once-in-a-lifetime performance at the Peach Bowl! Led by Band Director Rodney Brown, the West High School Marching Band consists of forty-eight members and was one of seven schools chosen to perform for close to 100,000 people in Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
West High School Band reached out to Music Travel Consultants to plan its trip-of-a-lifetime. Along with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and all of its activities, Music Travel orchestrated visits to the College Football Hall of Fame, the Georgia Aquarium, the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site, Hard Rock Cafe, and much more.
Enjoy this quick trip with West High School to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl:
The Wednesday the trip began, Music Travel Consultants Tour Director Sue Guindon met the band with the motor coach at the school. The band jumped in and it was off to Atlanta. For years, the city of Atlanta has been known for its southern beauty and charm. Today, the striking commercial architecture combines with colorful antebellum homes, making Atlanta a contemporary gem of the new south.
The band’s first stop in Atlanta was the Georgia Aquarium. It’s the world’s largest aquarium, with eight million gallons of fresh and marine water and more than 100,000 animals, representing 500 species from around the globe. The Georgia Explorer area is filled with interactive exhibits, including five touch tanks and two giant loggerhead turtles. In Cold Water Quest, five Beluga whales, sea otters, sea lions, and a giant Pacific octopus are featured. River Scout Gallery showcases fresh-water fish from Africa and the Americas. ‘Mesmerizing’ best describes Tropical Diver Gallery, with graceful garden eels, countless jellyfish and the world’s biggest coral reef, grown inside its aquarium. The largest exhibit, Ocean Voyager, has six million gallons of seawater, a 100-foot viewing tunnel, and several huge whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish! Needless to say, the West High School band saw things it had never before seen!
Next, the band went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a meal in the high-energy, rockin’ home of classic American food! One-of-a-kind rock and roll memorabilia, souvenirs, good music, and delicious food consistently make Hard Rock a great experience.
And then, the band headed to its hotel for a good night’s rest!
The next morning, the band grabbed a quick bite at the hotel before traveling to the Peach Bowl Concert Band and Jazz Band competitions, which began early that morning.
After a warm-up, West High School performed in the Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta. Following the performance, the band listened to several of the other performing groups, while it’s Color Guard held a rehearsal. Then it was off to CNN Center for lunch in the large food court.
Recharged after eating, the group visited the College Football Hall of Fame to get in “game day” mode. Next, it was, “what’ll you have?,” at an early supper in Atlanta’s iconic Varsity restaurant, an Atlanta tradition.
After eating, the band went directly to Mercedes Benz Stadium for the Peach Bowl Field Show competition. Watching other competitors’ shows, after giving its own great performance, ended the day as the band returned to the hotel and a well-earned rest.
Friday morning, the band drove to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to rehearse for the massed bands performance before the start of the Peach Bowl game. Following the rehearsal, the band enjoyed lunch. Then the band headed to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site. This National Historic Site includes a number of facilities that are operated in partnership between the National Park Service, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and The King Center. A visit here teaches one about Dr. King’s life, accomplishments and his influence on the Civil Rights Movement.
After rehearsing in the stadium, the band returned to its hotel to freshen up before this night’s events at the Georgia International Convention Center: the competition awards ceremony, the banquet, and a massed bands dance. Everyone had the opportunity to share a good time with the other bands!
Saturday morning, it was go-time! After breakfast, the West High School Marching Band headed for its parade staging area. Known as the official Peach Bowl kick-off event, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade swells with cheers, bands and more as it winds its way through downtown Atlanta. A great showcase of parade floats, classic cars, cheerleaders, award-winning marching bands, and more, the parade finishes at FanFest in the Georgia World Congress Center. This giant indoor pep rally features cheerleaders, mascots and bands from the participating universities. Visitors challenge their punting, passing and kicking skills, and enjoy many other interactive games, including batting cages, bungee runs, pedestal jousting rock climbing, giveaways, and more.
And now, it was almost Peach Bowl game time! West High School Marching Band joined six others as it walked into the stadium for the Pre-Game Massed Band Show.
In the center of magnificent Mercedes-Benz Stadium, West High School Band and the others gave a thrilling performance. The culmination of hard work and energy, it was a very proud moment for this Knoxville band’s community, and its students gave it their all!
After the Star-Spangled Banner, the game began, and at last, the bands got to sit back and enjoy the game in reserved seats.
(For you non-marchers, the Florida Gators upset the favored Michigan Wolverines 41 – 15.)
Late that same night, the band arrived in Knoxville after an action-packed trip to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl festivities in Atlanta. Music Travel thanks Director Rodney Brown, his band, its boosters and parents for letting us guide their Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Marching Band Trip experience. All know this trip has given the students memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives!
“Taking the band to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl was a once in a lifetime experience and one that the students will remember for the rest of their lives. Performing our halftime show in Mercedes-Benz stadium for the Field Competition, as well as marching the parade and performing in the mass band for the bowl game, was incredibly exciting and something that I will never forget. Using Music Travel to put this trip together was the best decision that we could have made. For every major trip, from here on out, we will be in contact with Emily and Music Travel Consultants to make it happen.”
Is your marching band ready for a Peach Bowl Marching Band Trip or another once-in-a-lifetime bowl performance trip?