The Elk Grove High School marching band is enjoying the sights and sounds of New Orleans while gearing up to perform at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Wednesday night.
Elk Grove Instrumental Music Association President Terri Moskal said about 75 band members, including her son and senior trumpet player Daniel, left for Louisiana on coach buses Saturday night after performing for family members who were sending them off.
"This is big for us," Moskal said, noting that the "Marching Grenadiers" have never been on a trip like this before. "They're having fun."
After months of fundraising, the cost of the trip was reduced to $835 per student, Moskal said.
Band director Ron Fiorito said from New Orleans that the students are very excited to be in the city.
"They're thrilled," Fiorito said, adding that he doesn't think they'll realize the magnitude of the performance until they are on the field in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with about 1,400 other high school musicians, dancers and cheerleaders from across the nation.
Besides playing "Born to be Wild," "I Don't Want to Stop" and "I Don't Care" during the halftime show, the band will also have an opportunity to play pep tunes in Jackson Square.
Other highlights of the trip include a masquerade ball with other bands invited to play at halftime, dinner on a steamboat and a visit to the National D-Day and World War II Museum.
The game matches the University of Florida Gators against the University of Louisville Cardinals. It is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN.