Army band is Budokan bound
November 16, 2012
TOKYO (Nov. 16, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Pacific Band traveled to a Japan Ground Self Defense Force camp to rehearse with Self Defense Force members for the upcoming marching band festival in Tokyo.
The band, which is made up of Soldier musicians from Japan, Alaska, Hawaii, and Korea, are performing in the Japan Self Defense Force Marching Band Festival, sometimes referred to as Budokan; the largest festival of its type held annually in Japan.
"We truly enjoy performing with our host nation and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force Band," said Chief Warrant Officer Marvin Cardo, commander of the U.S. Army Japan Band. "We do a number of performances together throughout the year, but this show is one of the most impressive."
This is the first year that Soldier musicians from four different bands within U.S. Army Pacific will be performing together. Members from 9th Army Band in Alaska, 8th Army Band in Korea and the 25th Infantry Division Band in Hawaii joined the U.S. Army Japan Band to form a 67-member marching band, dubbed the U.S. Army Pacific Band.
Beyond rehearsing the music and the choreography for their individual show, the U.S. Army Pacific Band practiced three selections that have them performing with all military bands from the Japan Self Defense Force and with the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force Band.
Members of the U.S. Army Pacific Band are excited to be playing in Japan and recognize the importance of their mission and this particular performance.
"Music is something everyone in the world can understand and enjoy and that is why I am excited about Budokan," said Spc. Noelle Christie, a French horn player from the 25th Infantry Division Band in Hawaii. "There will be people from all over who don't speak the same language or have the same traditions or beliefs, but we all love music."
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I enjoy putting on a show, and that is what we are going to do for the people of Japan," said Spc. David Felton, a sousaphone player from the 8th Army Band in Korea.
The Japan Self Defense Force Marching Band Festival draws a total audience of over 40,000 during its six, two-hour performances over a two-day period. This year marks the 48th time the festival has taken place since its inception in 1963.