An invitation to play in the Champs Sports Bowl in Florida next week was a wonderful surprise for the Moss Point High School Band. Those who've heard their music know it's a well-deserved honor. Keli Rabon checks in with the band that will soon be making their national television debut.
"I think I'm going to be overwhelmed. This will be the biggest crowd we've performed for," senior drum major Christopher Cox says.
They might be a local treasure for now. But all that's about to change. In about a week, the Moss Point Tiger Band will belt out their music to a crowd of thousands, not to mention the television audience, estimated to be more than one million viewers.
"I think it'll be a really good experience, get together as a group, come closer as a band, because that's what it's about, being a family," senior band member Terry Willis says.
Fifty members of the band plan to turn the stadium in Orlando, Florida upside down with their music. It's a talent the school's principal says doesn't come easy.
"Discipline, a lot of discipline, a lot of hard work," Moss Point High School Principal Tommy Molden says.
That hard work has also paid off with a trip to Disney World. Senior Baritone player Terry Willis says he can't wait to go.
"I've never been to a college bowl game. It will give me something to brag about when I go to college. To get to know my fellow players a little better, get a little closer with them. Have a little bit more memories, take some pictures. Something to look back on when I get older," Willis says.
For many of these kids, the chance to play in a bowl game is the opportunity of a lifetime. Principal Molden says the invitation was based on skill, not just on chance.
"It hasn't been anything about adversity, or our kids need this type of exposure. They actually deserve it. They deserve to be seen and they've worked hard for this. We already know how good they are, but we like for the rest of the world to know how great they are," Molden says.
The Moss Point Band raised about $9,000 to pay for the trip. The school district plans to give them about $15,000. To help the band make their way to Orlando, call Moss Point High School at (228) 475-5721. The Champs Sports Bowl will air December 29th at 7 p.m. on ESPN.