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Great opportunity for band members

The New Year’s holiday came and went with an indescribable experience for about 70 Nansemond River High School students.

The Magnificent Marching Warriors were invited to participate in this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl Halftime Show, which took place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., in front of 70,000 people and broadcast live on ESPN.

The band fundraised for many months, bringing in more than $124,000, to be able to make the trip. Once in New Orleans, they participated in five days’ worth of festivities surrounding the Sugar Bowl, including a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance, a Battle of the Bands field show competition and the Sugar Bowl Parade.

For band members, arguably the most nerve-wracking part of the experience was working with nine other bands from across the country to learn an entire halftime show — music and movement — in just a few hours.

The entire incredible experience was a first for the band, which has been performing in progressively more prestigious parades in recent years.

Band Director Edward Woodis rightly called it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the students, who got to travel to one of America’s most iconic cities and see and experience things they would not have had the opportunity for here in Suffolk.

We congratulate Woodis, the band members and all of the parents and other supporters who helped make this trip possible. We are proud of how well they represented Suffolk.