Libertyville High marching band to perform at Outback Bowl

  • The Libertyville High School marching band will perform at the Outback Bowl in Florida on New Year's Day.

    The Libertyville High School marching band will perform at the Outback Bowl in Florida on New Year's Day. Courtesy of Libertyville High School

Updated 12/18/2019 5:25 PM

Libertyville-area football fans will have an extra incentive to watch the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

Libertyville High School's marching band will be among the groups performing together during halftime at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Kickoff is set for noon Chicago time.


The Marching Wildcats also will perform in the Outback Bowl New Year's Eve Parade and in a parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park near Orlando.

Eighty-five students will make the trip, which will run from Dec. 29 to Jan. 3. The band had its last rehearsal Monday, director Adam Gohr said, and the musicians are ready to go.

"They sound great," Gohr said.

The band landed the halftime gig by sending an application that included video and audio recordings of its performances. It's the first time either of the Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 marching bands has been selected to perform during a bowl game.

"What an amazing opportunity for one of the best high school marching bands anywhere," Superintendent Prentiss Lea said. "We are so proud of, and excited for, the LHS marching band musicians, marching band director Adam Gohr, and the marching band staff for this outstanding honor and opportunity."

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Typically held Jan. 1, the Outback Bowl is sponsored by the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain. The game pits a team from the Big Ten against a team from the Southeastern Conference.

This time around, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will take on the Auburn Tigers. Minnesota is 18th in the NCAA's College Football Playoff rankings, while Auburn is 12th.

The Outback Bowl has hosted other suburban marching bands through the years. The Schaumburg High School band performed at the 2014 game, and the band from Palatine's Fremd High School performed at the 2013 game.

The Marching Wildcats have had high-profile gigs before. In 2018, the band performed in London's New Year's Day parade.

And Gohr is no stranger to marching down the Magic Kingdom's Main Street. He was part of the All-American College Band that performed there during the 1997 summer season while he was a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"That's truly a blast," he said.

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