SHANGHAI, China - More than 40 members of 8th U.S. Army arrived Shanghai, China Tuesday. It was the largest group of U.S. military to enter the country in recent history.

China invited the 8th United States Army Band, part of the 8th U.S. Army based in Korea to participate in of the 2008 Shanghai Spring International Music Festival which ends May 3.

Twenty-two bands from all over China, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Australia also participated in the event.

The purpose of the festival is to foster understanding of different cultures through the performance of music.

April 30 the band participated in a parade through Shanghai for the opening ceremony.
Crowds of people stood along the route and waved flags and cheered when the band marched by.

"It was a very positive- there were a lot of smiles and there was a good bit of cheering," said Sgt. Maj. Mark Eister, Sergeant Major for the 8th Army Band.
For some of the Soldiers who accompanied the band on the trip, it was the first for them to see the 8th Army Band as well.

"That was my first time to see the band walking through the streets. I was very proud of them. It allowed the Army to get closer to the civilians through music," said Spc. Jae Jung, logistic supply, Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Division, who is one of the 10 support personnel accompanying the band.

Friday the band will be playing a concert at Zhengda Stadium at Fudan University.

For more information contact LTC Brodrick Bailey at 011-9250-1271 or via e-mail at