Hawaii Chamber of Commerce hosts concert to honor service members
June 1, 2011
HONOLULU " The sounds of freedom reverberated throughout the historic Hawaii Theatre, as service members mustered for the 2011 Combined Military Band Concert, here, May 21.
Musicians from the 25th Infantry Division Band, U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Hawaii, Marine Forces Pacific Band, U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, U.S. Coast Guard Band and the 111th Army National Guard Band took the stage for a free program of patriotic favorites.
Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, told the audience that the musicians “just don’t play concerts. They deploy forward when their units deploy forward.”
To illustrate that point, he asked musicians from the 25th ID to stand. Only a handful were there to do so, but they stood to cheers of “Hooah!” and thunderous applause.
Smith explained how 25th ID musicians have deployed to support the mission in the Middle East. He also said that members of the Pacific Fleet Band are with the Pacific Partnership, engaging in international diplomacy.
Smith asked the audience to keep deployed service members in mind, as he invited concert goers to “enjoy your military band.”
Judging from the applause throughout the night, the audience delighted in a program that included music from Ferde Grofe to John Philip Sousa, among others.
Conductors from each service took turns at the platform to lead the band, including Chief Warrant Officer 3 Curtis Hiyane, commander, 111th Army National Guard Band; Lt. Cmdr. David Hodge, bandmaster, U.S. Pacific Fleet Band; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Sherlock, officer in charge, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band; and Maj. Michael Willen of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific.
Staff Sgt. Samuel Hesch, Hawaii Army National Guard, and Tech. Sgt. Tamiko Boone, U.S. Air Force, sang as soloists and shared a duet toward the end of the show.
The evening ended on a high note, with the “Stars and Stripes Forever” and wide smiles from both musicians and the audience.
The concert capped off Hawaii Military Appreciation Month, and it was sponsored by TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.
“This is just one of the many contributions our military partners provide to the community,” said Jim Tollefson, president and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.
He said the organization is “proud to support our military and their families, as they are an integral part of our island ohana.”