Sting, Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes, the Band's Robbie Robertson, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have signed on for the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, set for Feb. 8 at Rice-E

Sting, Dixie Chicks, LeAnn Rimes, the Band's Robbie Robertson, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have signed on for the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, set for Feb. 8 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Rita Coolidge, local groups Eclipse and the Desert String Band/Bunkhouse Orchestra, and the choristers of the Cathedral of the Madeleine will also participate.

Some artists already have held rehearsals with the 320-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony and were "completely blown away" by them, said Don Mischer, the Emmy award-winning producer hired to stage the opening and closing ceremonies. John Williams is composing the theme music for the opening ceremonies.

"These performers will help celebrate our theme 'Light the Fire Within' and the power of the Olympics in what promises to be the show of a lifetime," said Mitt Romney, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee. "At the Opening Ceremony we will salute the passion and the courage of the athletes who will gather in Salt Lake to compete in a spirit of harmony and spirit of friendship."

The artists join a wealth of other acts that will appear throughout the Olympics. Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, Creed, and Sheryl Crow are among the acts that will play live as part of the Hallmark Olympic Celebration Series, while 'N Sync, Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, and Harry Connick Jr. will all take part in the closing ceremonies.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y. & AP



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