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Top bands (one being USC’s, of course) to face off before Cotton Bowl

The Spirit of Troy will compete against Ohio State’s band one day before the schools compete on the football field

Trojan Marching Band performing at AT&T Stadium in 2016
The Trojan Marching Band performs at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, as part of USC’s 2016 season opener against Alabama. (Photo/Courtesy of the Trojan Marching Band)

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will not only pit powerhouse football teams on Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas, but feature a match-up of two of the nation’s top collegiate marching bands.

The USC Trojan Marching Band and the Ohio State University Marching Band will perform at halftime and pregame of the game and compete at the “Battle of the Bands” the day before. Fans will decide if each band lives up to its grandiose nickname: USC as “The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe” and Ohio State as “The Best Damn Band in the Land.”

For its part, the Trojan Marching Band will perform its traditional pregame show of the school songs — “Fanfare,” “Tribute to Troy,” “Fight On!”, and “Conquest” — while spelling out USC and Trojans on the field. At the half, the USC band will present the biggest hits from its 2017 halftime shows, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, “Feel It Still” by Portugal The Man and “Confident” by Demi Lovato. The band will also perform at the pregame pep rally in AT&T Plaza at 5:30 p.m. CST.

The PlainsCapital Bank Battle of the Bands will be held at Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park at 3 p.m. CST on Dec. 28.

The Trojan Marching Band will rehearse at Eagle-Mustang Stadium in Richardson from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 28 and 29. Practices are open to the public.

390th consecutive game

The Cotton Bowl will be the 390th consecutive game that the Trojan Marching Band has supported USC football. The band is celebrating 30 years of this unprecedented streak, which began the second game of the 1987 season. During that time, band members have traveled to stadiums in 24 states — from Boston to Honolulu — performing for 25.5 million fans and logging 347,000 miles (or the equivalent of 14 times around the world).

The bowl game will cap a characteristically busy year for the Trojan Marching Band. The band appeared with James Corden and Will Smith in the first episode of Carpool Karaoke: The Series and promotional campaigns for Twitter and League of Legends. The band also performed at the L.A. mayoral inauguration in July and for the opening of the Wilshire Grand Center, the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

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