Sneak Peek: Bowl Games Halftime Show Themes

It’s nearly that time of year again – College Bowl Game season! The preparation for what will happen on the field isn’t just for athletes. Every year, WorldStrides OnStage invites high school marching bands to perform across the different bowl game halftime shows. The work has already begun on the exciting on-field music performances.

Here’s a sneak peek at the themes for the 2019 College Bowl Game Halftime Show lineup!

Alamo Bowl“Yesterday”

60 years ago the Beatles began their storied music careers as the world’s most iconic and memorable Rock & Roll band! The Fab Four, the British invasion of long hair, screaming, wild-eyed crowds of fans, there is nothing left to be said other than to sing along!

Camping World Bowl“One Small Step”

Those iconic words spoken on the moon 50 years ago, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind“. With Cape Canaveral just 50 miles away from this very stadium, we salute the multitude of people and organizations that had a hand in this great moment in history.

Sugar Bowl“Respect” 

The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. In honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, young musicians and dancers from across the United States will perform two iconic hits, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”!

Holiday Bowl – “Sun, Sand, and Sea” 

Perfect in every way, with the beaches, the sun, the sea, the zoo, SeaWorld, sailing, fishing, food, fun, and so much to do! We take you on a brief tour of San Diego through the music, color, and motion in the halftime finale!

Wondering how these fun themes are selected? We asked our very own Doug Green, Vice President for WorldStrides OnStage, for the inside scoop on the process!

“The way each theme comes to life is based on a number of things,” says Doug, who’s unique role extends to producing the halftime show, in collaboration with the bowl game organizations. Doug works with the Bowl Game committees, and/or executives for each game to brainstorm and eventually select a theme for each halftime show far in advance of the teams being selected. There are meetings, presentations, and music demos. Occasionally, a trending opportunity is used for a theme suggestion!

Once a theme is chosen, the show itself starts to take form. They choose music that is upbeat and will get the crowd excited and having fun, as well as appropriate for a family-friendly crowd. Doug explains, “We have to narrow down how many songs and how long each song will be based on what each Bowl Game allows for in terms of timing for the show, usually 4-6 minutes.”  If there are large dance groups involved, they also have to take into account that the dancers can do choreography to the songs in question.

“If there is a guest star, we have to wait for the guest star to tell us what songs they want to perform and then work out a music track that we can arrange for the mass band.  We have a small group of professional arrangers we call upon to arrange the music for the high school band,” Doug reflects. “We have to get musical clearances and pay a fee for every song we arrange and the Bowls have to be signed up with ASCAP and BMI music services to pay fees to have those songs played in their stadiums and for a TV audience.  It can get complicated!”

Once all of this is arranged, it’s time to put on a show! So how do these shows come to life? It’s not as simple as just playing the music. As Doug highlights, “We try to add special effects and large props to enhance the shows and make them more exciting and fun to watch.  This is how Sky’s The Limit Productions got started…our props work with the Bowl Games was noticed by major sporting events who began calling and asking if they could have those props for their events. We now work with all major sports providing props including NFL, MLB, Universities, NASCAR, Indy 500, Presidential Campaigns.” Bottom line – if you’ve seen a large flag unfurled at a stadium game, chances are, WorldStrides’ own Sky’s the Limit Production company had a hand in it!

Doug says finding the right balance to create a fresh, appealing show for both performers, and thousands of viewers is certainly a challenge. “It’s never a perfect fit,” he explains, “but we have had a great run over 30 years of providing fun, exciting shows and music for all!” It’s no surprise, Doug jokes, that he can balance the many things involved. ” I was a high school band director, I can handle anything!” he laughs.

Ready to be a part of next year’s show? Find out more about WorldStrides’ OnStage Bowl Game and Parade Events here.



Article written by Nikki Fabrizio

Nikki Fabrizio
Nikki creates content and enjoys highlighting the exuberance of experiential learning. In her free time you can find her traveling, hiking and practicing circus arts.

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