Clovis band sets its sights for Normandy D-Day commemoration

The Fresno BeeFebruary 19, 2014 

Clovis Community Band was invited by the U.S. Department of Defense to play at the 70th commemoration of D-Day in Normandy, France this June.


History was made on June 6, 1944, when the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day commenced.

Seventy years later, the Clovis Community Band plans to be there to mark the anniversary.

The band, under the baton of Dan Lindstrom, is one of five ensembles selected to play in June at the commemoration of the event. It is holding a fundraising concert Sunday to defray expenses for the players making the trip to France. Here's a rundown:

The contingent: Out of the 75-member band, 28 players are making the trip.

The Normandy ensemble: Several hundred players will come together under the direction of Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, the conductor emeritus of the United States Air Force Band. In World War II, Gabriel was a combat machine gunner with the U.S. Army's 29th Infantry Division, which fought in the Battle of Normandy. Band members will rehearse together in Paris in advance of the performance.

The selection process: The band was recommended for the honor by one of its guest conductors, Gary Deeter.

The itinerary: In addition to the D-Day commemoration at Normandy, the Clovis band will perform by itself in concerts in France and England.

The money: Trips like this are expensive, and the Clovis band hopes to raise $25,000 to defray the costs.

The Sunday concert program: The band will play many of the pieces that will be included in the Normandy concert.

The details: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, Shaghoian Hall, 2770 E. International Ave. A silent auction will be held before the concert and during intermission. Admission is free, but a donation of $10 is requested. Info:


The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6373, and @donaldbeearts on Twitter. Read his blog at

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