Local Kimmy Hudon Goes to Olympics with Gator Band
Kimmy Hudon, is going to be playing at the Olympics with the University of Florida Band . She is a native of Santa Rosa County, a 2009 graduate of Jay High School, a 2009 Northwest Florida Gator Club scholarship winner, and a student at the University of Florida. Kimmy is a 3 year member of the University of Florida band. She is very excited to be able to have this once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Kimmy is the daughter of Kathy and Aubrey Penton, the granddaughter of Virigina Dozier and the late Sonny Dozier, the granddaughter of Cecile Penton and the late Jim Penton, and the granddaughter of Lois Hudon and the Late Dr. Normand Hudon.
The Pride of the Sunshine, the University of Florida’s Fighting Gator Marching Band is the only United States Band that was invited by the Olympic committee to play at the London Olympic Games Official Events. The UF Gator Band has been assigned to play during the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremonies and will play for other official Olympic venues before returning home. The Band will perform during the dates of July 23 – 31, 2012. Television screens measuring 200 feet in width are placed outside the stadium to allow people without tickets inside to watch the Parade of Nations and other opening ceremony events. Olympic Coordinators informed the Gators that they will play the opening ceremonies because they are used to playing to crowds of 90,000 in the Swamp
Opening day is a long series of musical events with the Gators performing at Hyde Park. The UF Gator Band is scheduled to perform on opening day at Hyde Park for 80,000 people and at Victoria Park, right next to the Olympic Stadium where the torch will be lit. Among the music acts also performing at Hyde Park for the Olympics are Madonna, Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga, to name a few. The UF Band plans to deliver a performance full of Americana-inspired melodies and some Beatles tunes.
The UF band will play the “Star Spangled Banner” as our US athletes enter the arena for the opening ceremony . The London committee has also given the Gators the added honor of playing “God Save the Queen” when the British team comes into the stadium. They explained it is due to the fact that the band is much larger and has a bigger sound than the other bands invited.
In addition to the two main performances, the Gator Band will be assigned to smaller sporting venues, where they can break up into 25-piece pep bands — another reason why the Olympic Committee chose to bring some orange-and-blue to London. The UF Band received an invitation to audition whereby they submitted three different portfolios which included CDs, DVDs, print material, repertoire lists and performance histories. This is an historic and a big undertaking for the Gators. The trip is priced at one million dollars and paid for by the band students, corporate sponsors, and donations from the University Athletic Association.