The Fighting Indians Band currently engages 200 dedicated students in a variety of ensembles and activities throughout the year. Together they strive to achieve the highest level of artistry through performance. This extraordinary group of young performers come from the Fighting Indians Marching Band, three Symphonic Bands, various Chamber Ensembles and Brass Ensemble, Orchestra Winds, Chamber Winds, Percussion Ensemble, three Jazz Bands, and the Color Guard.
We are the Fighting Indians Band, the Pride of the Treasure Coast.
We strive to achieve success and excellence in all our endeavors. We strive to perform to the best of our abilities and beyond, individually and collectively as a superior band.
We believe in honoring our tradition and embodying pride, discipline, and musicianship.
Through our steadfast belief in these ideals, we are united in our love of music, resolve to develop an innovative, productive organization, and promotion of a community of collaborative musicians.
By accomplishing this mission, we will establish the foundation of our personal success and the success of future bands to come.
What We've Achieved
The Fighting Indians Band was founded in 1934-35 by Band Directors James and Thelma Crowley. The band was originally developed under the New Deal Era Federal Music Project which was designed to employ professional musicians and music teachers during the Great Depression. Mr. and Mrs. Crowley were also the Band Directors for school bands in Melbourne, Fort Pierce, and Stuart. While we have some evidence of bands existing in Vero Beach in the decades prior to the 1930’s, bands during this era were likely of the dance band or town band genre and may or may not have been associated with the Vero schools. There was an outdoor band shell that was located just to the south east of the old Vero Beach High School which stood on the site of the present day Freshmen Learning Center. The Fighting Indians Band gave outdoor concerts at the band shell until sometime in the late 1940’s or 1950’s.
The current Vero Beach High School Fighting Indians Band is made up of the following components: Fighting Indians Marching Band, three Symphonic Bands, three Jazz Bands, Percussion Ensemble, various Chamber Ensembles, Orchestra Winds - Percussion, Brass Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and the Color Guard. The band program consistently receives Superior ratings and top awards at all phases of festival and competitive events both in and out of Florida. The Band program was featured in the April 2014 edition of the School Band and Orchestra Magazine. In 2017, the band was awarded the National Band Association Blue Ribbon Award for the Southern Division.
The Symphonic Bands are the heart of the Fighting Indians Band program. These bands have received Superior ratings at the FBA District Music Performance Assessments for the past 39 years. The bands have also earned Superior ratings at the FBA State MPA consecutively for the past 32 years. Symphony Band has performed at the Southeastern U.S. Concert Band Clinics in Troy, Alabama; the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division in Tallahassee, Florida; the University of Florida Invitational Band Clinic in Gainesville; the University of South Florida Festival of Winds in Tampa; the Southern Music Conference in Atlanta , the University of Georgia Honors Band Festival in Athens, the MENC Southern Division Conference in Tampa, the Stetson University Honors Festival, the National Band and Orchestra Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and the University of South Carolina Band Clinic. The Concert Bands have also won the Nashville Heritage Festival and the Fiesta-val Competition in Williamsburg. In 2012 the Symphony Band performed on the Opening General Session and President’s Concert at the Florida Music Educators Professional Development Conference in Tampa. In 2013 the Symphony Band, Philharmonic Wind Band, and Percussion Ensemble performed at the Music For All National Concert Festival in Indianapolis and In 2014 the Symphony Band won First Place at the Atlanta Fiesta-Val Competition. In December of 2015, the Symphony Band won Grand Champion in the Concert Band Division at the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl Band Festival.
The Fighting Indians Marching Band nicknamed The Pride of the Treasure Coast, provides the color and atmosphere that makes Friday Night Football in the Citrus Bowl Stadium come to life with spirit so loud the noise can be heard for miles. Autumn week nights are punctuated with the exciting sounds of the band in
rehearsal and draws dozens of people to the band field to watch and listen to the band rehearse. No outdoor civic event in Vero is complete without the rousing sounds of the Fighting Indians Band. The band has received 39 consecutive Superior ratings at the FBA District Marching MPA. The band has won Grand Champion, First Place, and a host of caption awards at numerous marching festivals around the State of
Florida. Among these are the Pride of Florida Festival, the Naples Tournament of Bands. Central Florida Band Showcase, Kingdom of the Sun Festival, and Isle of Eight Flags Festival. The marching band has also won marching and parade competitions and superior ratings out of the state including the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, the Fiesta-val Parade in Williamsburg, the Nashville Heritage Festival. The marching band has also appeared in the Orange Bowl, Walt Disney World, the World's Fair, Cotton Bowl Parade, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, and also won the Crowd Pleaser Award at the Fiesta Bowl Field Competition. In Hawaii, the band played on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor and marched in the Polynesian Cultural Center's Celebration of Youth Parade receiving First Place. In 2015, the marching band competed in the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl Band Festival and won Grand Champion in the Parade Division. The Marching Band also won second place in the Field Show Division and was part of a 1,000 member marching band that performed prior to the start of the Peach Bowl Game.
Jazz Bands from Vero Beach High School are consistently rated Superior at the Florida Bandmasters Association MPAs. The Jazz Band program has grown from one Jazz Band in 1980 to two band’s in the late 1990’s. The Jazz Band won the Heritage Festival in Nashville and the Fiesta-val Competition in Williamsburg and Atlanta. The Jazz Band has been featured in concert at the Florida Music Educators Conference in Tampa. The Jazz Bands are known throughout the community for renditions of traditional Big Band Jazz tunes and for playing for a number of civic events. The Jazz Band is one of the highlights of the annual Red, White, and Blue Concert Series and always receives standing ovations from the audience. The Jazz Bands are showcased each February to sell-out crowds at the annual VBHS Big Band Bash which features all of the VBHS Jazz Bands along with Jazz Bands from Oslo, Gifford, and Storm Grove Middle Schools. In April 2014, the Jazz Band won the Fiesta-val Competition in Atlanta.
The Percussion Ensembles provide an outlet in addition to the Fighting Indians Band Drum Line for students to perform a variety of percussion music in one of three main percussion choirs or ensembles. Percussion ensembles along with many talented soloists earn dozens of Superior ratings each year the FBA Solo and Ensemble MPA. Ranging in scope from keyboard or mallet ensembles to a full array of percussion instrumentation in the larger percussion choirs. The Percussion Ensembles are featured each year on the annual Chamber Ensemble Concert. In 2013 the percussion ensemble performed at the Music for all National Percussion Festival in Indianapolis.
Chamber Ensembles, Chamber Winds, and the Brass Ensemble are vital elements of the band program performing in a variety of instrumental settings including authentic Chamber Wind groups, Brass and Woodwind Choirs, Quintets, Quartets, Trios, and individual solo’s. The Chamber Winds and Ensemble groups
perform annually at the FBA Solo and Ensemble MPA receiving well over 130 Superior medals collectively each year. The Wind Ensemble comprised of the most advanced musicians performs annually in the spring on the Chamber Ensemble Concert.
The Orchestra Winds and Percussion are selected from across the band program to provide wind and percussion players for the Vero Beach High School Symphony Orchestra. These students perform on a rotating basis with the Symphony Strings to comprise the instrumentation needed to make up a full symphony orchestra. The VBHS Symphony Orchestra has performed original symphonies by such composers as Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, Shubert, and a host of other works by major composers. The VBHS Symphony Orchestra has received consistent Superior ratings at the Florida Orchestra Association District and State MPA since its addition to the VBHS Performing Arts Department in 2000.
The Color Guard is the visual voice of the Fighting Indians Band and has evolved from the original majorette corps from the band’s early history into the present day visual performing ensemble. The color guard has a long history of success not just with the marching band but also in the area of indoor color guard performances. This group has earned consecutive Superior ratings at the FBA Marching MPA since 1980. The Indoor Color Guard is consistent in earning Superior Ratings at the FBA District, State MPA, and at various regional festivals. The group has also won several Caption Awards along with Superior Ratings at several marching band festivals around the state of Florida. Most recently the color guard received all Superior ratings at the 2019 State Auxiliary MPA.