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San Francisco City Hall has a new addition as the community prepares for Super Bowl 50. (EQRoy/Shutterstock.com)
Courtesy: Drum Corps International

Devils, Vanguard will help set the Super Bowl stage

By: Chris Weber
          Release: 01/27/2016
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It’s only a little more than a week until the Carolina Panthers face off against the Denver Broncos in one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

And with Super Bowl fever already infecting the Bay Area, local drum corps including the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard are ready to get in on the action.

This year’s 50th anniversary Super Bowl will be hosted at Levi’s Stadium, the brand new facility of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Located in the heart of Santa Clara, California, the new stadium practically casts a shadow on Vanguard’s headquarters, which is only about three miles south of the $2 billion edifice.

“It’s been exciting to see the Super Bowl preparations happening in and around the city,” Santa Clara Vanguard CEO Jeff Fiedler said. “The Santa Clara community is really rolling out the red carpet in anticipation of the big game and we’re very happy to get involved.”

Vanguard corps manager Charles Frost says that the organization is preparing a “mini corps” ensemble to perform the day before the Super Bowl at Santa Clara University on Saturday, February 6.

With local Vanguard corps members and alumni providing entertainment, the aptly named Super Community Celebration will be a pep rally for residents that will also feature special appearances by NFL players and Hall of Fame members, a concert by San Francisco-based rock band Huey Lewis and the News, food, and fireworks.

Every Super Bowl features a long series of events that ramp up to the annual Sunday showdown. And in the San Francisco area will be Super Bowl City and the NFL Experience to give fans and community members the opportunity to immerse themselves in the festivities with a variety of exhibits hosted at the city’s convention center.

Enter the Blue Devils.

BD Entertainment, a special events performance arm of the Blue Devils organization that’s been around for more than a decade, has a huge roster of experienced drum corps performers that it calls on for everything from corporate and private events to television commercials.

BD Performing Arts CEO David Gibbs says that BD Entertainment will provide 150 performers in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.

“After sending a drum line to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii this coming Sunday, we’ll also help kick things off at the NFL Experience in San Francisco,” Gibbs said. “Each day we’ll provide small ensembles of brass and drummers to entertain fans in and around the Moscone Center.”

Relying on a propriety database of some 500 performers that it can call on, BD Entertainment is well suited to get in on the Super Bowl festivities. Gibbs says that he’s been fielding requests for performances nearly every day over the last few weeks including special events for the city of San Francisco and from the 49ers organization which hosts its own parties in conjunction with the Super Bowl.

“It’s going to be a crazy week,” Gibbs said.

Come game day on Sunday, February 7, BD Entertainment will take its act to Levi’s Stadium as television broadcasts and other festivities get started early in the morning before the 5:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Blue Devils C drum corps will have a chance to perform, in addition to a group of around 24 drummers and 20 brass players who will be making the rounds from tailgate areas to the zones where the NFL Network and CBS Sports will be doing their pre-game TV spots. 

Among the game day highlights Gibbs notes will be a performance with 50 color guard members bearing flags representing each of the Super Bowls since 1967 and a staged performance of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Tusk,” done in the style made famous by the rock group with the USC Trojan Marching Band in the 1980s.

Follow the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard over the coming days on Facebook (BD | SCV) and Twitter (BD | SCV) as they post about their experiences using the official Super Bowl 50 hashtag, #SB50.

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