For 23 years, marching bands were the highlight performance at the Super Bowl. At Super Bowl 50 that tradition returned when the Cal Berkeley Marching Band was invited to perform alongside halftime headliners Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars. While not every marching band will get that same "super"-sized opportunity, there are a few ways you can apply halftime performance theatrics and practice regimens to your own routine:
1. Rehearse like everyone will be watching
"You can always encourage your musicians by instilling the value of the performance."
The Cal Berkeley Marching Band had less than two months to prepare for the halftime performance. In the two weeks leading up to the big day, the band practiced seven days a week from 1 to 10 p.m. Knowing that millions of viewers would witness the show inspired a lot of hard work and dedication in the group. While the average marching band isn't usually being watched by that many people, you can always encourage your musicians by instilling the value of the performance — whether it's to win a competition or entertain millions at the biggest sporting event of the year.
2. Reinvigorate the hits
When marching bands were an institution at the Super Bowl, they typically played or accompanied pop hits. Now, this is a choice made by a lot of bands, especially in an age that has departed from tradition. Having your band bring its interpretation to modern songs, not only through musicianship but also in choreography, is a great way to up the entertainment factor of your performance.
3. Custom-design your field show
Cal Berkeley's performance was tailor-made for the Super Bowl. The band took a break from its other duties on campus to focus on the show, rehearsing long hours and devoting a lot of energy to keeping the surprise under wraps until game day. Your band might not be preparing to perform with pop superstars, but you still have the opportunity to custom design an unforgettable field show that sets your band apart from the rest.