A New Windsor woman will help millions of viewers get ready for kickoff today at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Cathleen Anthony, a senior at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, is a trombone player for the Syracuse University Marching Band, which will take the field for the pregame show at 6 p.m., just minutes before the big game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
SU hosts an uncommon marching band program that incorporates musicians from nearby institutions of higher learning. SUNY ESF band members account for 13 of the more than 200 students in the SU Marching Band.
The SU band will make a joint appearance on the field with the Rutgers University Marching Band to represent both New York and New Jersey. The bands will perform music by famous natives of the two states, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra and Jay-Z. Selections include "Born in the USA," "Born to Run," "Livin' on a Prayer," "New York, New York" and "Empire State of Mind."
"I didn't think I would ever go to a Super Bowl," Anthony said. "It's amazing."
Anthony said the band received the invitation just before Thanksgiving, but couldn't tell anyone until after Christmas.
A graduate of Francis Scott Key High School, Anthony returned home to Carroll County to spend Thanksgiving and winter breaks with her parents, Richard Anthony and Claudia Derse-Anthony. She said it was difficult not to share her exciting news.
The SU band normally stops practicing when the college's football season ends. Anthony said to prepare for the Super Bowl performance, they have just extended their practice sessions to make sure they nail the material.
"I'm going out with the bang this year with the Super Bowl," said Anthony, who will graduate with a degree in environmental science with focus in information and mapping.
She said this will be the biggest game the band has performed at, but it's not the first time they have been on a national stage. They traveled to Montreal, Canada, for a pregame and halftime performance for the Montreal Alouettes versus Toronto Argonauts Canadian football game, which was followed by a trip to play during halftime at a Buffalo Bills game in front of a crowd of 70,000 fans.
Anthony said she was thrilled about the performance, but a little disappointed she might not be able to see the game. She said the band doesn't have seats at the stadium and band members may not be able to watch all of the festivities.