BISMARCK, ND – On June 6, 1944, thousands of young men landed on the shores of Normandy, France to launch the largest land and sea assault in world history. D-Day was the beginning of the end of World War II.
Each year, a group of 125 high school students from across the United States are selected to play in the All-American D-Day Band. The band is a fully instrumented concert band that will also march in a short parade. This year that group includes a Bismarck High School student. Second period is Olivia Anderson’s favorite part of the school day. This is because the second period is the group. Anderson plays the flute for Bismarck High School.
“I just love that it feels free and it’s just a beautiful instrument. It’s soothing. It’s a lot of fun to play,” said Anderson, a senior at Bismarck High School.
Anderson also plays the piccolo.
“I’ve been playing flute since sixth grade and piccolo since eighth grade,” she said.
And in June, she will take her musical talent all the way to France. Anderson has been selected as a member of the All American D-Day Band. The band will perform in Normandy. On D-Day, they will march in a memorial parade to commemorate the end of World War II.
“I’m very excited to see the culture of France and to go celebrate and remember those who like fought for us,” said Anderson.
Anderson is one of only 125 high school students from across the United States chosen to be on the team. Her director says Anderson is a good fit.
“She has a passion for music and she works really hard,” said BHS band director Neil Tafelmeyer.
Hard work that has given Anderson the biggest opportunity of her life so far and filled her with a joy that can only come from music.
Anderson is the only student from Bismarck chosen to be on the band, but has another Bismarck High connection. All-American D-Day band director Lt. Col. Timothy Holtan is a 1973 graduate of BHS and a member of the school’s hall of fame.
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