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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS

Irvine

July 01, 1999|Mathis Winkler, (949) 764-4311

Irvine High band members milled around their empty school Tuesday, trying to absorb the news that organizers for the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, had canceled long-standing plans for them to join the opening ceremonies. "It's like being invited to a party and then being uninvited," said sophomore Stephanie Chan, 14.

The Olympic Committee had asked 1,300 American students to perform in the Olympic band, along with 500 Australians and 200 Japanese musicians. More than 100 Irvine High band members had planned to leave for Sydney in August 2000 to play in the opening ceremony field show and for the Parade of Athletes.

That changed last week after Australians raised a national outcry over the small contingent their own country would have. In response, the Sydney Organizing Committee said it would recall the invitations.

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