Marching Band to play at Epcot

By Ken Goze

Visitors to Florida’s Epcot Center and MGM Studios will get a chance to hear NIU’s Huskie Marching Band when the group heads south for spring break.

Huskie Marching Band Director Frank Bibb said about half of the 250-member band, including the colorguard and the Silverettes will hold a parade and concert as part of a six-day, six-night trip to Orlando, Fla.

“It’s great exposure for us and the university. It promotes enthusiasm in the group,” Bibb said, adding the group will be performing for thousands.

The band will get t-shirts and free admission for their performance, and will go onstage before the park’s closing fireworks display, an honor reserved for the best bands, Bibb said.

Bibb said the trip is paid for entirely by the band, and will cost each member $250. While the cost is kept low by hotel discounts and bus travel, the accommodations are far from shoddy, Bibb said.

“These are not flea-trap buses, they have video machines and televisions. It works out very nicely,” Bibb said.

The band will stay at the Marriott Hotel on International Drive, which, despite the luxury of swimming pools and hot tubs, cuts their rates by half for the group, Bibb said.

In addition to their main stops, the band will also visit Tampa, Daytona, and St. Petersburg. Bibb said he originally planned a trip to California, but abandoned the idea because of high costs.