As bands are getting less performance and TV time at bowl games in favor of sponsored content, the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl found a new way to feature the bands and title sponsor simultaneously.
“The band performances are something that we really hold close to our heart because we know that this experience of a bowl game goes far beyond just the matchup of the two teams,” says Ryan Diller, the game and event operations manager.
The University of Washington (UW) Husky Marching Band and the Penn State Blue Band each got time to perform their own pregame and halftime shows with some new innovations to further the bowl’s theme of unity. During halftime, both bands combined on the field to play a song from the upcoming PlayStation video game “God of War.”
“The idea actually originated from PlayStation, so this is something that we had been working on well in advance before even knowing who our teams were,” Diller says. “[PlayStation] said, ‘Hey, we really want to … make it a great experience for the bands.’”
The band students enjoyed mingling at a joint rehearsal, and they all received free T-shirts from PlayStation. “The bands and the students and the directors, everyone was so excited to pull this off just because it’s something that is very rare to see at a bowl game like this,” Diller says.
In another show of unity, the pregame National Anthem was sung in a duet by Penn State vocal major Sean Toso and UW’s feature twirler and vocal major Krissy Terwilliger. Both bands also performed that morning in the National Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade.