Kudos to the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Marching Band. Here is Some Additional Background You May Not Know.


Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Marching Band (Free Image)



The Peach Bowl was originally founded in 1968, designed as a fundraiser for the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.

This year, 47 years later, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl returned to its roots by announcing a re-commitment to its relationship with Lions Clubs International (LCI) and the Georgia Lions.

(S. Truett Cathy who founded Chick-fil-A used ads of cows to sell chicken. In 2014 his WinShape Foundation donated $ 18 million on foster homes, college scholarships, a summer camp and marriage counseling programs.)

S Truett Cathy

Now LCI has taken over sponsorship of the Peach Bowl’s game day parade.

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade, presented by LCI, marched through downtown Atlanta on the morning of Dec. 31, 2015 – entertaining tens of thousands as it made its way through Centennial Olympic Park on its way to the Georgia Dome.

There was a pageantry of floats, classic cars, cheerleaders, mascots, award-winning marching bands, dynamic dance groups and much more!  Lions and Lions Clubs were encouraged to walk with the LCI procession in the parade.

Lions Logo

The vision of the LCI is “to be the global leader in community service.”  As of April 2015, there were 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in 200 countries and governmental agencies.

In 1925 Helen Keller challenged the LCI to “become the knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

In 1945, LCI was one of the first non-governental agencies to assist in the drafting of the of the United Nations Charter.

At this years’s Peach Bowl, 15 marching bands from nine states participated in the competition and at one point all the bands were on the field at one time – representing a total of over 1,000 high school students.

Among others, and to give you a range of geographical participation, the Hightower High Marching Band from Missouri City, Texas participated with 120 members; only one of two schools in Texas to be invited.

Granville High School Marching Band from Granville, Ohio participated with 108 students.

43 students from the St. Paris High School Marching Band, St. Paris, Ohio participated in the contest.

Now to some history of the Vero Beach Fighting Indians Marching Band.

The Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Band dates to the early 1930’s under the “Federal Music Project” designed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat the depths of the Great Depression.”

FDR with Quote

President Roosevelt realized the value of arts in American society, stating that the “American dream…was the promise not only of economic and social justice but also of cultural enrichment.”

In July 1935 he created a New Deal program called “Federal One,” which included five arts projects, of which one was the Federal Music Project.


The Vero Beach band was organized under the Federal Music Project by James and Thelma Crowley, who were also the Band Directors for school bands in Melbourne, Fort Pierce, and Stuart; traveling up and down the coast between schools on different days.

That was then.

This is now:


In addition to just being selected “Grand Champion and Overall Award Winner” at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the Fighting Indians band previously won “First Place,” “Superior,” and “Grand Champion” ratings at contests from Florida to Hawaii.

Here is a video of the Fighting Indian Band’s performance on November 13, 2015 when the Vero Beach High School played Gateway from Kissimmee, Florida.

Here They are at the Conclusion of their Performance:

Marching Band

The band has received 35 consecutive “Superior” ratings at the FBA (Florida Bandmasters Association) District Marching MPA (Music Performance Assessments).

It has won “Grand Champion,” “First Place,” and a host of caption awards at numerous marching festivals around the State of Florida. Among these are the Pride of Florida Festival, the Naples Tournament of Bands. Central Florida Band Showcase, Kingdom of the Sun Festival, and Isle of Eight Flags Festival.

The marching band has also won marching and parade competitions and superior ratings out of the state including the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, the Fiesta-val Parade in Williamsburg, the Nashville Heritage Festival.

The marching band also appeared in the Orange Bowl, Walt Disney World, the World’s Fair, Cotton Bowl Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, and also won the “Crowd Pleaser” Award at the Fiesta Bowl Field Competition.

In Hawaii, the band played on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor and marched in the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Celebration of Youth Parade receiving “First Place.” (Source: Vero High School website)

On October 24, 2015 the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians received Superior ratings from all judges at the Florida Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessment in Jensen Beach.


Every category and caption was rated Superior and each adjudicator sheet had straight A’s in every area of the sheet. Categories included music, general effect, marching, color guard, and percussion. This marks the 36th consecutive straight superior sweep at this event for the Fighting Indians Band.

Most recently, on the weekend of November 7, the entire Fighting Indians Marching Band performed at the Kingdom of the Sun Band Competition in Ocala, Florida, where they received “Superior” ratings in all categories, placing 3rd in their class and 5th overall in the Finals.

It was a contest of high performance bands and it was the Fighting Indian Bands first competition in 11 years.

They also received the “Superior with Distinction” ratings for Musical Performance and Color Guard.

Prior to this competition the Band practiced everyday for two hours for two weeks.


Next stop was the the Band’s competition in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the five day event in the Atlanta, Georgia Dome from December 27 to January 1st, 2016.

The Bands competition at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the members the Fighting Indians Band.

This was the only bowl game in the College Football Playoff system that allowed high school students to be part of the mass band show.

The Fighting Indians were selected to participate in the event based on a video they submitted a year ago.

It cost each band member $ 900 to participate in this event for the charter travel buses, not including housing and meals. Do the math: $900 x 240 members = $ 216,000.

They raised all the money on their own.

They also had to pay for their own instruments; although if a band member is not able to afford one the High School helped out.

Once again, kudos to the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Marching Band.





3 thoughts on “Kudos to the Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Marching Band. Here is Some Additional Background You May Not Know.

  1. I heard the band at a football game last fall. Very impressive. With new stadium seats, Vero Beach will earn even more kudos.

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