KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Lions are calling on some local talent to perform during Thursday's big game. Western Michigan University's Bronco Marching Band will be the first marching band taking Ford Field in nearly a decade.
Nearly 300 band members will be entertaining thousands as the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers. Dr. David Montgomery has been directing the band for 12 years and said this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for his students.
"I know that in at least the last eight to ten years, they have not had any college marching bands to come over and play for their halftime performance," said Dr. Montgomery. "So this is a real honor and an unusual circumstance that we were thrilled to say yes to knowing our students would not have this chance again."
Dr. Montgomery received an invitation from the Lions when he was driving back from Thanksgiving. This was quite unusual for the band since their schedule is predetermined months in advance. The band was given six days to prepare but the Bronco Marching Band, otherwise known as "The Sound of Western," said they're more than ready for Thursday's nationally-televised halftime performance.
Dr. Montgomery said the band will reprise a show titled "Sing-Along Favorites" that includes "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey and a medley of "I Will Survive," made famous by Gloria Gaynor, and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars.
"We wanted to do something that would be high energy and accessible by the fans that they could recognize and enjoy with us," said Dr. Montgomery. "It's high energy. The band has a couple of soloists that we’ll be featuring in both songs, there’s some choreography we do. It’s just gonna be a big party on the field."
Figuring out the logistics in getting nearly 300 students on Ford Field during the last week of finals is no easy task. Some students are forced to stay on campus to finish exams while the others will be representing "The Sound Of Western" at the big game.