FDSH band ready for Bowl

The Fort Dodge Senior High marching band will perform at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 1.

University of Iowa and Louisiana State University are competing in the college football event.

“We’ll be marching in the halftime show,” Al Paulson, director of bands, said. “We just have to be there.”

FDSH will join other schools in the game’s halftime show, according to Paulson.

“There’s 20 schools that are going to be performing there,” he said. “They give us the music, and we’ve been preparing that.”

The band’s 100 students, along with the color guard, have been readying for the performance since spring, when they first learned they would be in the show, by rehearsing and practicing the music they were given.

“It’s based on ‘Grease,’ the musical,” Paulson said. “It’s called ‘Grease Opener’ and ‘Grease Medley.’ They’ll also be playing a dedication to military services.”

Mike Richardson, former FDSH band director, said the school applied to be in this year’s Outback Bowl show.

“You send in a recording of your group’s marching band and they review it,” he said. “They base it off what they see of your group.”

Links were also sent to FDSH marching band performances available on YouTube, Richardson said.

The application was sent more than a year ago.

“I was working on this before Thanksgiving last year and by Christmas time I knew we would be accepted to go,” Richardson said. “They only take a certain number of bands for these, so I had to get in early enough. It is a select thing, and only a dozen or 15 bands are able to do this.”

He added, “It’s a huge honor for them to be able to go. I’m really proud the kids will be able to experience that.”

The FDSH marching band will be doing more than performing in the halftime show, Paulson said.

“There are two parades we’ll be marching in,” he said. “The Outback Bowl parade and the Universal Studios parade.”

Paulson said his students are excited for both the trip and the performance.

“We have a countdown on the board,” he said. “We’re down to 15 days before we leave.”

This will be the largest venue these students have performed in yet, Paulson said.

“These kids have not done it,” he said. “(FDSH) did another bowl game three or four years ago, the Alamodome in San Antonio. I don’t remember what bowl game it was.”

The band departs the day after Christmas for the New Year’s Day performance.