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ZCHS band performs at Sugar Bowl

The 2009 Allstate Sugar Bowl experience was just about as sweet as sweet could be for the 54 members of the Zion Chapel Marching Rebels.

The only thing that could have sweetened the bowl for the Alabama fans among them would have been a victory over the Utah Utes.

But not even a less than lackluster performance by the Tide dampened the spirits of the Zion Chapel marching band.

The Zion Chapel Marching Rebels were among the 14 high school bands invited to perform at halftime at the All State Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 2.

“It was an exciting time for our band,” said Erin Wambles, band director. “I’m sure that it was experience that none of the band members will ever forget.”

The Marching Rebels went to the Big Easy expecting to have a lot of fun but they also went with the commitment to represent their school and their community with pride.

And, they did.

“All of the bands competed in a field show and the Zion Chapel Marching Rebels placed second out of 14 bands,” Wambles said. “That was a real honor and very exciting for us.”

The Marching Rebels also had five performances in the famed New Orleans French Quarter and visited an IMAX theater and Aquarium of the Americas with the other high school bands.

“We also attended a New Year’s Eve Mardi Gras ball held in a huge warehouse,” Wambles said. “The band members got to dance and they had a lot of Cajun food and it was a lot of fun.”

On game day, the Zion Chapel Marching Rebels performed at the halftime show with the other high school bands flanked by the marching bands from Alabama and Utah.

The bands formed the number 75 in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Sugar Bowl.

“We had 40 parents who went along and we got to climb to the top of the Superdome and shoot streamers from cannons,” Wambles said. “There were 200 cannons and each one shot eight 30- to 40-foot streamers that said ‘Alabama vs. Utah.’ It was really cool.”

Wambles said the Zion Chapel band members had an opportunity to talk with members of the Million Dollar Marching Band from Alabama and with members of the Ute band.

“That was exciting for them and they also enjoyed meeting the members of the other high school bands,” she said. “The other bands were from Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.”