Spotlights UF Homepage ufl.edu,UF Homepage

Going for the gold: Band off to London for Olympics

Published:

The University of Florida Gator Band made its final arrangements on Sunday before taking off for London to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

During their 14-hour day, band members worked on polishing music, marching skills for their performance on London’s famous Mall just outside of Buckingham Palace, and going over the logistics of moving more than 230 band members and staff and their equipment to the largest sporting event in the world.

“I think we’re all a little tired but very excited to get on the road, “ Chip Birkner, assistant director of bands, said just before the band left Gainesville. “It’s a big undertaking, but we’re really excited and I think things are going to go really well.”

On 10 different flights, the band crisscrossed North America to five cities ranging from Houston to Montreal with the goal of ending up in London about the same time.

After arriving in London Tuesday morning, the band was scheduled to go on a driving tour of the city before checking into hotels for a rehearsal and welcome dinner.

While in London, the Gator Band will perform in historic locations such as Victoria Park, adjacent to Olympic Park, before and during the opening ceremonies.

Other performances include Women’s Cycling on the Mall, Wellington Barracks for the Foot Guards Regiment and a rehearsal at Windsor Castle. On the itinerary are tours of Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford and Warner Brothers Studios in addition to a walking tour of the city of London.

For information about Gator and former Gator athletes at the Olympics, go to http://www.gatorzone.com/olympics/2012/