Band day features 27 high schools during Oct. 24 halftime show

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Band day features 27 high schools during Oct. 24 halftime show

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The 3rd annual Band Day on Saturday, Oct. 24, in Bulldog Stadium will feature 27 bands from high schools throughout California participating in a special rock n’ roll half-time show of Fresno State’s game versus University of Texas, El Paso.

Hosted by the Fresno State Marching Band, the nearly 2,500 young musicians will invade the field and perform several numbers highlighted by “Chantilly Lace” with KMPH weathercaster Kopi Soturopolous providing the voice of the Big Bopper.

They will also perform a medley of Beach Boys songs; Richie Valens’ “La Bamba;” and Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”

The bands will meet that afternoon for the first and only time to rehearse the show, said Gary P. Gilroy, director of the Fresno State Marching Band.

Gilroy started the band event three years ago to generate interest in half-time shows and provide high school students an opportunity to perform with a college marching band at a college football game.

“It’s also a good way to recruit students to Fresno State and our band as well as fill stadium seats,” Gilroy said. He has only three hours to mold the nearly 2,500 young band members, including the Bulldog band, into an impressive display of marching bands.

“I send them the music for the band to learn and rehearse on their own in advance,” he said. “I also send a tape of the music and a video tape of the color guard routine so the visual performers can learn the program visually and have a tape to rehearse with. It’s sort of a distance learning of its own.”

When they arrive late at the stadium Saturday morning, the bands spend the first half hour observing the Fresno State band performing the show in Bulldog Stadium before converging on the field for rehearsals to come together as one unit.

High School bands expected for the Fresno State Marching Band’s 1998 Band Day:

Arroyo Grande, California (San Ramon), Caruthers Union, Delano Joint Union, Denair, Dinuba, Dos Palos, Florin (Sacramento), Foothill (Redding), Fresno Christian, Golden West (Visalia), Hanford West, Kerman, Laton, Lemoore, Lindsay, Modesto, Orosi, Pacific Grove, Redwood (Visalia), Riverdale, Roosevelt (Fresno), San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno), Sanger, Selma, South Bakersfield, and Washington Union.

For more details, call (209) 278-5086.