(June 11, 2014) -- The UTSA Spirit of San Antonio (SOSA) Marching Band is back on campus after performing in France on an international stage before President Barack Obama, President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and national military leaders and veterans on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
D-Day is forever known for the Allied invasion of German-occupied France and the beginning of the liberation of Europe and Nazi Germany.
The SOSA marching band was the only U.S. university band that performed at the commemorative event. The SOSA performance was captured on French national television broadcasts and video streamed worldwide for viewers from across the globe to see.
In addition to the D-Day performances, SOSA band members participated in musical tributes at the Brittany American Cemetery in St. James and the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, the site of the D-Day beach invasion.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience is one Kyle Ludovice, a SOSA sophomore snare drummer, will never forget.
"As a history major, I have always had an interest in studying World War II," said Ludovice. "I will always treasure this opportunity I had to visit Omaha Beach and speak to face-to-face with one of the actual veterans of the 29th Infantry, who landed on the beach that fateful morning of the invasion."
Ludovice was proud of UTSA's top-tier musical performance and was honored to be able to communicate the historical implications of the commemorative event to his fellow band members, so they could truly appreciate the opportunity they were given to be a part of the monumental occasion.
Fifteen UTSA parents accompanied SOSA band members overseas. Pam Selky was able to share her first trip to Europe with her son Luke Selky, a UTSA drum major who just graduated in May.
"As a teacher, I was hoping the band members would draw a deep meaningful experience that they would be able to remember the rest of their lives and carry with them," said Ms. Selky. "It was just phenomenal and made me tear up to be in the crowd and hear them play on a world stage. They did a great job in the way they represented UTSA, San Antonio and the United States."
The SOSA band members wrapped up their visit in Paris with tours of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Learn more about the UTSA Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band trip to France.
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