Carnival Cruise Lines and local New Orleans television station WDSU-TV have launched a search to find the most spirited high school marching band in the Big Easy.

“The Battle of the High School Marching Bands” competition celebrates local spirit and skill, and will ultimately award the winning band a $10,000 cash prize from Carnival and chance to perform aboard Carnival Sunshine, the line’s latest ship to call New Orleans home when it arrives there for its North American debut this November.

Area schools have three weeks to record a three-minute video of their band performing their school fight song. In the performance, the bands also must identify their school and the name of the contest, “The Battle of the High School Marching Bands.” 

To enter, high schools must upload their video to YouTube by Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 6pm CST, and email a link to the video to a dedicated email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A special judging panel will select the top five finalists.

Beginning on October 22, the five finalists will be posted to the WDSU-TV website ( for schools, families and members of the community to get in on the musical fun and rally around their favorite band. Voting will run through Friday, November 1. Fans can vote once per day for the duration of the voting period.

The winning band will be announced in November and receive $10,000 for their school’s music program courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines, along with the opportunity to perform aboard Carnival Sunshine during its U.S. debut celebration at the Port of New Orleans on Sunday, November 17.

Each of the four additional band finalists will receive a $1,000 cash prize from Carnival.
“As we prepare for the U.S. arrival of Carnival Sunshine to New Orleans, we want to do something truly special to celebrate that is in the spirit of New Orleans and its rich music history,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer. “This contest provides an opportunity for us to help foster musical development in the next generation of talented performing artists and is a great way to partner with the community to celebrate the November arrival of Carnival Sunshine,” Berra added.

“WDSU is thrilled to partner with Carnival Cruise Lines in celebration of the U.S. arrival of Carnival Sunshine,” said Joel Vilmenay, WDSU’s president and general manager.  “Along with this state of the art vessel, Carnival’s generous gift of $10,000 to a deserving school is big bow on a wonderful present to the Crescent City.”   

Beginning November 18, 2013, the 3006-passenger Carnival Sunshine will offer seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean from New Orleans.