Viera High band trumpets its way to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans


The Viera High School Hawks band had been tapped to perform at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

photo by Carl Kotala

The Viera High School marching band is going to get to do its thing on the big stage…

In the Big Easy.

One hundred fifty band members and 30 adults are planning to travel to New Orleans on Dec. 30 as part of the Sugar Bowl festivities. After taking part in a parade on Dec. 31, the Hawks will be among a group of bands performing on the field at the Superdome during halftime of the bowl game.

“This is the 11th year the school has been open and it’s the first trip of this magnitude that the band is making,” band director Nick Eggen said. “We’re looking forward to representing the school and the county.”

The Viera High Marching Band, shown here on the final day of summer band camp, has a chance to perform at next year’s Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. | PHOTO BY CARL KOTALAPicking the Sugar Bowl made sense for Eggen on a number of fronts. Not only has the Florida State graduate been to the game several times, but his father is from New Orleans, giving him a natural affinity for the city. It’s also a game the group can get to by bus.

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” senior band captain Jacob Groppel said of getting the chance to play in the Superdome.

Band members have known about the trip for several months, though the initial announcement was quite a shocker.

“They were telling us there was a surprise coming, but I just thought it was going to be new equipment or something,” senior drum major Caitlin Meckley said. “Then they were like, ‘Oh, we’re going to the Sugar Bowl.’”

While both Meckley and Groppel said they were most looking forward to performing, the band will also visit the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas along with the historic French Quarter.

PHOTO BY CARL KOTALAThe trip will cost $875 per student, but that does not include extra spending money.

To raise money, the team will hold a “Staycation Raffle” during the football team’s final two home games. The prize will include tickets to Disney World and a weekend hotel stay in Orlando. The drawing will be held Oct. 14 during Viera’s game against Martin County.

Band members will also sell cookie dough as part of its annual fundraiser. Proceeds will support the band program throughout the year as well as help offset the cost of the trip. VV

UPDATE: "Project Sugar Bowl"

Project Sugar Bowl 
Date:  Sept 17
Time:  3:00 - 8:00 
Location:  The Avenue® Viera Central Park
Festivities:  Raffles, Prizes, Auctions, Games, and Jazz Performances

• We have business partners ranging from $20 - $2000 in their support for our Band Fundraiser.
         -  many door prizes; multiple gift cards, gift baskets and items for auction/raffle 
         -  some big items secured: helicopter tour, deep sea fishing day trips, Mountain cabin retreat, Football game tickets with hotel
            and gift card for food, Apple tv, and All State Sugar Bowl Swag (from the Sugar Bowl themselves)

  • Louisiana is our destination, Jazz is our night's performance; therefore, Mardi gras is our Festive theme.
  • Free Jazz performances beginning at 3pm (three sets in all)
  • There will be a free comedic magic show, as well as magic performed with our guests while walking around Central Park (2 hours).
  • There will be free professional face painting provided by Fantastic Expressions from 3-7, specialized in mardi gras themed face art.
  • There will be an imagination station photo booth with green screen for photos.
  • There will be free balloon art offered in Central Park for our kiddies.
  • There will be a free bounce house.
  • There will be a snack concession: water, cotton candy, and popcorn (fundraising booth).
  • There will be a dunk tank (fundraising booth)

If anyone is interested in donating to the program or ask about specific ways to sponsor a kid in need, visit or call 321-433-4340.

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