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Marching Chiefs to perform at D-Day ceremonies in France

Marching Chiefs to perform at D-Day ceremonies in France.png
Posted at 1:21 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 13:21:28-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State University’s world-renowned Marching Chiefs will be the only collegiate band to participate in France’s official D-Day Normandy Parade.

The weeklong trip to Paris and the beaches of Normandy from June 3-10 will mark the third time in the Marching Chiefs’ 80-year history that the band has performed overseas.

“It’s a huge honor to represent FSU and the United States at the D-Day 75 Normandy Parade,” said Director of Bands Patrick Dunnigan, who led the Chiefs on their last international trip to London in 1997. “When you think about all the soldiers who fought in France, what a big difference they made in the war and the thousands of young men who never returned home, it’s overwhelming.”

During the parade, the Chiefs will play “March Militaire Française” as they march about a mile-and-a-half between Vierville-sur-Mer and Saint Laurent-sur-Mer. The two villages overlook Omaha Beach, one of five beaches along the Normandy coast where more than 150,000 American and Allied soldiers landed by sea and air June 6, 1944, in the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The fundraising campaign attracted contributions from hundreds of donors and band members also set up GoFundMe pages, and all of the fundraising helped lower the per-student cost to less than $2,500 for airfare, hotels and meals.

The successful fundraising efforts and the significance of the commemorative D-Day events resulted in a larger travel group than expected. Now, about 385 of the band’s 420 musicians are going to France.