An Olympic Performance for the Ages

bartner olympics

USC has a proud Olympic heritage, with 471 athletes winning 305 medals since 1904. But one of the best performances of all time was not on the field of competition. It came as Dr. Bartner conducted the All-American Band during the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics at a site familiar to all Trojan fans, the Los Angeles Coliseum. The 800-piece band included 125 TMB members who debuted John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare, conducted by Dr. Bartner, which became an instant classic.

“When I heard it the first time, I knew it was going to fabulous,” Dr. Bartner recalls. “There’s that opening fanfare. Then the melody. And the ending is a killer. It’s so dramatic your mouth drops open. You get goosebumps.”

In this week’s ARTCAST, Dr. Bartner relives USC’s Olympic heritage and how the band plays tribute to the competition in the years Olympics are held. Before this year’s summer Olympics were postponed, Dr. Bartner said the TMB would have played that Olympic theme once again on the Coliseum floor at halftime.

The ARTCAST also recalls the return of John Robinson as USC’s head football coach, focusing on two major bowl wins and the “man among boys” performance of Keyshawn Johnson.

This week’s Classic Spirit of Troy looks back at the 1987 tribute to Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass, “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, “Surrender” by Cheap Trick, and  “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.

See this week’s episode and previous editions on the TMB’s YouTube page.  

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