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Marching Bees sweep Gator Bowl competition

Members of the Baldwinsville Marching Band display the many trophies and the $10,000 check the band was awarded at the Gator Bowl.

Members of the Baldwinsville Marching Band display the many trophies and the $10,000 check the band was awarded at the Gator Bowl.

— The Baldwinsville Marching Band ended its season as the 2012 Gator Bowl Sweepstakes Champions.

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Band Director Casey Vanderstouw holds the Sweepstakes trophy the Baldwinsville Marching Band was awarded in the Gator Bowl competition.

The 110- member band, directed by Casey Vanderstouw, placed first in the Gator Bowl field band and parade band competition held on New Year’s Eve in Jacksonville, Fla., receiving a slew of trophies and a $10,000 check for their award winning show, “Apollo 11: From the Earth to the Moon.” The band beat out 10 other bands from around the country for the title as well as for the right to perform its show for the bowl’s pre-game show before thousands of fans.

Band members and staff worked diligently for months perfecting the show as well as raising all of the funds necessary for the trip by holding bottle drives, fruit sales and a golf tournament.

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Members of Plan Bee, the pep band at Baker High School, perform with their saxophones at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 29.

In addition to winning the Sweepstakes Award, the band clinched first place in the following categories in the parade band competition:

Parade Band Class AA

Percussion

Guard

Marching

General

General Effect

In the field band competition, the band placed first in the following categories:

Field Band Class AA

Drum Majors

Percussion

Guard

Marching

General

General Effect

While in Florida the marching band and Plan Bee, the pep band, played at the Kennedy Space Center, drawing in large crowds to watch their performances.

A police escort to Baker High School, where a group of cheering family and friends were waiting, announced the band’s arrival back in Baldwinsville on Jan. 3.

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