A USC Trojan mascot in roman battle gear costume with helmet and plume raises his arm to give a V for victory gesture.
No, this isn’t L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Maybe this guy’s a USC student in everyday clothes headed to class. Photo from Pixabay.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will “fight on” as a guest conductor of the Trojan Marching Band and 1,400 students from 14 local schools at the upcoming USC football game, the university announced Friday.

Garcetti plans to take the field at halftime of USC’s game against Oregon State on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as part of a celebration of the Olympics returning to L.A. in 2028 and the recent opening of the $700 million USC Village on the school’s campus.

The visiting performers will be taking part in “High School Band Day,” which is a tradition dating to the 1940s where secondary school students get to perform with the Trojan Marching Band at a USC football game.

“It’s a great honor to have the mayor of Los Angeles guest conducting our High School Band Day,” Trojan Marching Band director Arthur C. Bartner said. “We honor him Saturday because of the completion of the University Village, a great collaboration between the city and USC, and his work returning the Olympics to the Coliseum in 2028.”

Garcetti is an accomplished pianist and played jazz piano on the steps of City Hall in April as part of an elaborate celebration of the film “La La Land.” He plans to head the combined band as it performs “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman.

The mayor was previously serenaded with “I Love L.A.” by the Trojan Marching Band at his second inauguration in June. It was the first time the band had performed at a mayoral inauguration, and Garcetti will be returning the favor as the first mayor of Los Angeles to guest conduct the band.

Previous guest conductors for USC’s High School Band Day include Steve Allen, Robert Zemeckis and Elmer Bernstein.

The Oregon State vs. USC game is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m., with halftime beginning at about 2:30 p.m.

–City News Service

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