Libertyville High School marching band to play 2020 Outback Bowl

  • The Libertyville High School marching band spells out the school's initials during a performance. The band will play at the 2020 Outback Bowl in Florida.

    The Libertyville High School marching band spells out the school's initials during a performance. The band will play at the 2020 Outback Bowl in Florida. Courtesy of Libertyville High School

  • Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley beats Mississippi State cornerback Cameron Dantzler on a touchdown reception during the Outback Bowl last month.

    Iowa wide receiver Nick Easley beats Mississippi State cornerback Cameron Dantzler on a touchdown reception during the Outback Bowl last month. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 2/4/2019 6:02 PM

Libertyville High School's marching band has been invited to play in college football's Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, on New Year's Day 2020.

The Marching Wildcats also will perform in the Outback Bowl New Year's Eve Parade in Tampa and in a parade at Walt Disney World near Orlando as part of the trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It's the first time either of the Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 marching bands has been selected to perform in a bowl game.

"We're really excited to offer our students this unique performance opportunity," Libertyville High band director Adam Gohr said.

Typically held Jan. 1, the Outback Bowl is sponsored by the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain.

The game features a matchup between teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 27-22 to win this year's contest.

The Libertyville High band landed the gig by sending an application that included a video of its performances. It will be among the bands performing during the halftime show.

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"One of our primary goals is to keep students performing beyond high school," Gohr said. "This shows them the type of experience they could have as part of a college marching band, whether they major in music or not."

District 128 board President Pat Groody said the pageantry and excitement of the game will make for a special experience for the band members.

"It's a great honor for our students and faculty who spend so much time working to deliver exceptional performance in our fine arts programs," Groody said.

"It's great to see our kids and faculty recognized for their hard work and commitment."

Board member Lisa Hessel thanked Outback Bowl organizers for giving the teens a chance to collaborate with marching bands from around the country.

"Anyone who has seen the Marching Wildcats perform can attest to the enthusiasm and passion with which these talented musicians perform," Hessel said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"(We) look forward to seeing them perform on a national stage."

The Schaumburg High School band performed at the 2014 Outback Bowl.

The band from Palatine's Fremd High School performed at the 2013 game.

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