Former CU Buffoons a cappella member Gary Forsberg (Psych’64) of Farmington, Utah, is a retired Navy commander. In June, the 100-man a cappella chorus he’s a part of, Sound of the Rockies, represented the U.S. at France’s Brittany American and Omaha Beach American Cemeteries, and at the Sainte-Mère-Église and Luxembourg Gardens, to commemorate D-Day’s 75th anniversary.
What’s your favorite CU Buffoons memory?
While returning from a Colorado Springs performance, we stopped at the Roman Villa restaurant. While waiting for our food, we burst into song with the old college classic, “Gaudeamus Igator.” Mama and Papa came running into the room and applauded with shouts of “Encore, encore!”
Where’d you sing after CU?
I sang and traveled with the Naval Air Training Command Choir in Pensacola. I sang at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony, and with Tennessee Ernie Ford.
What was it like performing in France?
It was an honor to sing where so many sacrificed to liberate Europe from tyranny. We had about 20 Normandy veterans seated in front of us at Omaha Beach. They sang along quietly with us when we performed the WWII-era song “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
Anything else to share from those performances?
The French people were so welcoming. They greatly appreciated the message we brought in song, particularly our closer, a medley of “This Is My Wish” and “Wonderful World.”
What does the 75th anniversary of WWII’s end mean to you?
It marks the incredible accomplishment, at great sacrifice, of the Allies’ landing and defeat of those who would oppose liberty. And it’s a reminder of the efforts of my father and mother, and members of my extended family, in that conflict.
Interview condensed and edited. Photo courtesy Gary Forsberg