Going from the 50-yard line of Bulldog Stadium to Beijing’s Tienemen Square, 25 past and current Fresno State students and Director of Bands Gary Gilroy will participate in a 2,008-member ensemble of young people from around the world at the summer Olympics in China.
The Bulldog Marching Band contingent will be part of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Orchestra that is departing July 29 for the XXIX Olympiad, which runs Aug. 8-24 in China. Gilroy departs Thursday.
A special bon voyage performance will be held at Downey High School stadium in Modesto today (July 22) at 7:30 p.m., culminating a two-day camp to prepare for the trip. Gates open at 7 p.m. A $5 donation will be accepted and children under 5 are free.
The donation helps the Olympic-bound musicians, who are each paying their own way. Gilroy said the cost is $4,500 each and additional donations are welcome.
“I am very proud of the Fresno State students going on this trip, for making a reality out of this,” Gilroy said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience they will never forget.”
Gilroy was selected for the orchestra’s artistic team by World Projects International Music Productions, a Vallejo-based company that organizes international performance tours.
Also participating is Fresno State alumnus David Glyde, a music teacher for Lemoore schools, who also composed and arranged music for a 2,000-member band at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
The Olympic Orchestra’s performance in Tiananmen Square on Aug. 3 is among the pre-Opening Ceremonies activities.
“We are the first and only foreign group to ever gain permission to perform in Tiananmen Square,” according to an announcement from World Projects.
Bulldogs Marching Band
Fresno State Band Members Heading To Beijing