Five Geneseo graduates are marching their way toward Tampa, Fla.

Five Geneseo graduates are marching their way toward Tampa, Fla.

The Geneseo quintet will perform with the University of Iowa Hawkeye marching band during the Outback Bowl on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The game will be broadcast at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

Hawkeye band members include freshmen Elizabeth Grafft (piccolo) and Jordan Flies (clarinet), sophomores Christos Andrios (trombone) and Andrew Lenz (drum line) and junior Rachel Sears (trumpet).

As the veteran in the group, Sears is the only one who has previously traveled to Tampa with the Hawkeyes for a bowl game.

“It will be a lot of fun,” said Sears, who is majoring in human physiology and global health studies.

The band will spend a number of days in Tampa and members will get to enjoy the beach and warm weather.

“They’ll also have fireworks for New Year’s Eve,” said Sears.

Along with performing at the game itself, the marching band will provide music for the various Iowa pep rallies held in conjunction with the team’s bowl appearance.

“Last time, I was amazed at the number of Iowa fans who traveled for the game,” said Sears.

Last season, the Hawkeyes played in the Pinstripe Bowl, in New York.

“Our bowl game trip for that was only 36 hours,” said Lenz, who is majoring in mechanical engineering. The band will spend four days in Tampa.

“We’re looking forward to warmer weather,” added Andrios, who is studying business at Iowa.

Grafft, a nursing major, agreed. “I’m looking forward to spending time on the beach.”

Both Lenz and Andrios said they feel the Hawkeyes are “pretty evenly matched” with Mississippi State.

“I think they can pull off the win,” said Lenz.

The Iowa Hawkeyes band will perform both during pre-game and at halftime.

Transitioning from the Geneseo High School marching band to the Hawkeyes band was a change for the musicians.

“(The Iowa band) is based on student leadership,” explained Sears. Musicians at Iowa learn the high-step form of marching.

“Musically, we weren’t behind at all,” said Sears, noting the demands of the Geneseo band prepared them for college.

“Geneseo gave us a work ethic,” said Andrios.

All five said they joined the Iowa band as a way to meet friends.

Because band camp takes place before the start of the school year, joining allowed Andrios to “meet people right away.”

“I’m a self-described ‘band geek,’” said Flies, who is majoring in finance and music. “I knew I was going to make friends in the marching band.”

“I loved marching band (in high school), and didn’t want it to end,” said Grafft.

“It’s a way to continue making music and hang out with friends,” said Sears.

Lenz noted it was his family who pushed him to join the Hawkeye band, but added, “I’m glad they did.”