MIAMI, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The search is over for the Most Spirited High School band in Greater New Orleans! The Pride of Destrehan Marching Band has been named the "Battle of the High School Marching Bands" grand prize winner following a month-long competition sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines and New Orleans' own WDSU-TV that included nearly two dozen local bands and more than 11,000 votes cast by friends, family and the community.
Carnival Cruise Lines and WDSU-TV representatives surprised the marching band students, faculty and the administration at Destrehan High School in Destrehan, La., to share the great news. Jim Berra, Carnival's chief marketing officer, presented the school with a giant check for $10,000 to support its music program and invited the band to perform next weekend as part of the welcoming festivities aboard Carnival Sunshine, the line's latest ship to call the Big Easy home.
"As we prepare to bring our newest ship to New Orleans this month, we wanted to do something truly special for the community that would benefit young people and celebrate the spirit of this great city and its rich music history," said Berra. "We were truly impressed by the tremendous show of talent from all of the participating bands and congratulate the Pride of Destrehan Marching Band on their big win. We look forward to welcoming the band members aboard Carnival Sunshine on November 17 for what we're sure will be an unforgettable performance."
Joel Vilmenay, WDSU's president and general manager, added: "We are thrilled to have partnered with Carnival in this celebration of young local talent. It's been terrific to see such great participation from our schools and the outpouring of support from the greater New Orleans community."
Celebrating local spirit and skill, area schools were asked to record a three-minute video of their band performing their school fight song. Nearly two dozen schools submitted over the course of the three-week entry period, and five finalists were selected by Carnival Cruise Lines and WDSU-TV based on music ability, style and sound. From October 21 through November 1, more than 11,000 votes were cast online for the five finalists, resulting in Destrehan's win.
"We are grateful to have received this honor from Carnival Cruise Lines and WDSU-TV and the chance to showcase our marching band's incredible talents," said Stephen Weber, principal of Destrehan High School. "We're proud of our hard-working students and appreciate the continued support of our students, faculty, families and local community who helped us to clinch this new title."
Other finalists included Bonnabel Magnet Academy, Miller-McCoy Academy, Riverside Academy and Salmen High School. Carnival will award each school a $1,000 cash prize for their music program.
On November 17, Carnival Sunshine will make her North American debut in her new homeport of New Orleans. The following day, the 3,006-passenger "Fun Ship" will sail on its inaugural voyage from New Orleans -- a six-day cruise that kicks off a winter schedule of cruises to tropical destinations throughout The Bahamas and Western Caribbean. Earlier this year, the ship underwent an unprecedented 75-day, $155 million transformation, incorporating all of the line's "Fun Ship 2.0" dining, bar and entertainment features, as well as a variety of exciting innovations unique to the vessel and 182 new staterooms.
For more information about Battle of the High School Marching Bands, visit www.wdsu.com/carnival-cruise-lines.
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Carnival, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 24 ships operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Europe, Panama Canal, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The company's 25th ship, the 135,000-ton Carnival Vista, is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
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SOURCE Carnival Cruise Lines