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Chien Kuo Senior High School Marching Band Play for Major League Beginning at Chicago White Sox Stadium

The Chien Kuo Senior High School marching band arrived in the US in late July with a tight competition and performance schedule. On August 4, they represented Taiwan in the Drum Corps International (DCI) 2015 World Championship Finals in Michigan City, Indiana, and were successfully placed. Then the next day, on August 5, the marching band’s 87 members marched onto the grass at US Cellular Field before a Chicago White Sox game in their red, black and white uniforms, and led the baseball fans in the singing of the United States national anthem.

This is the first time that a Taiwanese band has performed the opening number for a major league baseball game in the US, and their performance garnered an enthusiastic response from everyone there. Many Taiwanese students studying in Chicago, and parents of the marching band members gathered in the stands to cheer on the Chien Kuo Senior High School marching band.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago Director General Calvin Ho and Education Division Interim Director Ching Fong Dong were among the supporters cheering on the students. Calvin Ho, is himself a graduate of Chien Kuo Senior High School, and he said that watching these young people from his former school filled him with great pride, and seeing Taiwan’s national flag, with its white sun on the blue sky above the red ground, fluttering all around US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox team, gave him great sense of happiness, and the Taiwanese cheering section attracted the attention of many US baseball fans.

The Chien Kuo Senior High School marching band has won first place in both the Concert Wind Ensemble and the Outdoor Marching Band categories in competitions in Taiwan for the past thirteen years running. This year is the first time that the band has competed in the DCI World Championship. As the band pointed out, performing in a marching band is not just about the playing instruments and using props but also involves about a combination of stamina and spirit and working together. The band members all considered it a great honor to be part of the first Taiwanese group to perform the US national anthem before a major league baseball game.