AUBURN – When Auburn’s Marching Band members return from the holidays this week, they will immediately hit the practice field in preparation for their performance at the BCS National Championship game. The Auburn Tigers take on the Oregon Ducks Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.
The band will have a rehearsal Friday afternoon in Auburn before heading to Arizona early Saturday morning. All 380 band members along with 30 faculty and staff will fly nonstop on two chartered jets from Montgomery to Phoenix. A few students were already on campus earlier this week to help load large instruments and equipment into a tractor-trailer for shipping to the game.
“All the band members are really excited,” band member Katie Morgan said. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to all season. Early on we thought maybe it was a possibility and now it’s a great way to end our year.”
The band will perform at a Scottsdale Waterfront pep rally at 2 p.m. Sunday and at the Phoenix Zoo at 7 p.m. Sunday. On Monday at University of Phoenix Stadium, the band will perform at 2:40 p.m. at the Westgate City Center Fanfare and at a 3 p.m. pep rally in Parking Lot G South. At 3:25 p.m. it will play at the Stadium Club. The pregame performance will begin at 6 p.m. followed by kickoff at 6:30 p.m. All times are Mountain Standard Time.
“It’s a big stage and a great opportunity for the band as ambassadors of Auburn University, the Athletic Department, the state and conference,” Marching Band Director Corey Spurlin said. “In everything we do, we want to be great representatives of Auburn.”
Rehearsals during the weekend will be held at Chaparral High School and McClintock High School.
“As soon as we get there, we are going to load everything onto the bus and actually go to a rehearsal,” graduate teaching assistant Will Waggoner said. “We will have a couple of public performances, and every bowl trip we have a dinner celebrating the year. We look back and reflect on what happened during the year.”
The John Philip Sousa Foundation in 2004 presented Auburn’s Marching Band with the Sudler Award, its top honor, as the number one band in the nation, the same year the football team went undefeated.
“We are thrilled about the game and the visit to Arizona,” said Rick Good, director of bands and a Ph.D. graduate of Arizona State University. “Many of our band members have not been to the Southwest, so it will be great for them to experience the area and culture.
More information about the band’s schedule of events is available at http://band.auburn.edu. The band will return to Montgomery on Jan. 11.