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School band plays at Georgia Dome

POSTED: January 9, 2013 4:00 a.m.

The Dawson County High School band played in front of more than 68,000 people during the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve at the Georgia Dome.

The band was selected to perform during the Dec. 31 college football bowl game based on past performances in marching band competitions and support from the high school.

"In order to be selected we had to process paperwork with a videotape of our band," said Ryan Zwemke, band instructor.

After being selected, the band received permission from the school system in mid-September for extended practices.

"We also added some rehearsals after all the football games were over so that we could be ready for the performances," Zwemke said.

The band had to double-up on practices to familiarize the players with the pieces chosen by the Chick-fil-A Bowl committee.

"The pieces we performed at halftime and at the pregame were pre-selected for us," he said. "Most of the songs the band was familiar with, but had never played them in a marching band setting."

The young musicians were ecstatic to go, according to Zwemke.

The band had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including the bowl game parade, meeting Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy and playing the national anthem with professional trumpeter Steve Patrick.

Also, with 12 other schools from across the country present, the band got to make friends with students from seven different states.

"I would like to thank so many people, businesses and the community at large for making this possible," Zwemke said. "This experience that you provided these students will never be forgotten."

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