Gehlen Catholic band students experience bowl game festivities

Monday, January 23, 2023
(Photo Contributed) Members of the Gehlen Catholic Marching Band stand for a photo by the San Diego skyline.

LE MARS — Gehlen Catholic marching band students took the field at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California, Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Trip planning and fundraising were in the works since 2019 for the 30 students and eight chaperones who attended the trip.

“We have covered silage piles and done Meats and Sweets sales to help students pay for the trip,” said 5-12 Instrumental Director Nathan Klaumann.

(Photos Contributed) Gehlen Catholic freshman Danielle Tesch and seventh grader, Tessa Ruden, prepare for the parade.

Any student in grades 7-12 who participated in Competition Marching Band during the 2022 season was eligible to board the bus on Sunday, Dec. 25.

Students were able to take part in parade festivities, the Bowl game halftime performance, and sightseeing around the city.

Cole McCarty has been part of the band since fifth grade and chose to go on his first band trip knowing it would be a great experience not only playing in the band, but also visiting a place he has never been to before.

Students and chaperones took time to sit for a group photo at the Bowl Game site.

“There was an absolutely electric environment in the stadium all night long, from the kickoff until the firework show afterwards,” McCarty explained.

Klaumann explained that through opportunities like this, students grow as musicians.

“Most of these students will not get another chance to perform at halftime of a major college football game with other musicians their age. Being able to share an experience like this with some of your closest friends is a once-in lifetime adventure,” he said.

Students were able to perform with other high school musicians, sit next to collegiate marching bands, and meet some of the football players.

Addison Arens, senior at Gehlen Catholic, decided to participate in this band trip after having so much fun traveling to San Antonio, Texas in 2018.

“My favorite part of the trip was the bowl game. It was by far the coolest football game I have ever been to. Our seats were very close to the field which made everything seem more exciting,” said Arens.

I’m thankful for all the people at Gehlen who made this trip possible, and I’m looking forward to the next trip in 2024,” shared McCarty.

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