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    The music continues, the circle of friendship spins on / 音楽と共に動きだす 友情の歯車

    The music continues, the circle of friendship spins on / 音楽と共に動きだす 友情の歯車

    Photo By Yoshie Makiyama | Lester Middle School and Mashiki Jr. High School bands perform together at the Mashiki...... read more read more



    Story by Yoshie Makiyama 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    People refer to music as not having borders or that music is a universal language. On Nov. 19, 2023, Stella Grimmer, an eighth grader from Lester Middle School, said, “We may not speak the same language but the music brings us together.” Grimmer’s statement was made at a concert that Mashiki Junior High School brass band hosted in the Mashiki Junior High School gym, Ginowan City, where Lester music students were invited to perform together.

    According to Robert Roth, the Lester Middle School music teacher, Japanese students initiated it and invited them in return for the joint concert which was held at Lester in May, 2023.

    Earlier in 2023, Asako Ishimura, a community relations specialist of Government and External Affairs, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, coordinated a performance with Lester Middle School for the Friendship Music Festival, inviting the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 15th Band, and the Mashiki Junior High School band.

    “We didn’t speak English well, but we were able to unite our hearts through music and had fun performing with the same feeling,” said Hinata Arakaki, the Mashiki band captain, recalling the May performance. “Since then, we have longed to do it again.”

    At the concert, Mashiki played nine songs, including three with the Lester Middle School band, and the audience of both Mashiki and Lester school parents applauded loudly.

    “We practiced very well, and we all put enough time into ourselves,” said Andrei Francheska De Leon, a Lester seventh grader. “We had a very big expectation and I think all of us exceeded that.” She showed her excitement in performing with the Japanese band, since last time in May she was still a sixth grader and could not participate.

    Although there was not much time for exchange, Arakaki was happy to have had brief conversations with the Lester students at the farewell. “It is rare to have such an opportunity, so I hope the younger members continue to do this (the exchange concert) in the future.” She hoped that eventually they would become closer and deepen their relationship.







     交流の時間は多くはなかったが、新垣さんは別れの際にレスターの生徒らと短い会話を交わすことができたことを喜んだ。 「このような機会はめったにないので、後輩たちには今後も(交流演奏会を)続けてほしい」とし、いずれはもっと親しくなり、交流が深まることを願った。



    Date Taken: 01.22.2024
    Date Posted: 02.16.2024 01:49
    Story ID: 463925
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 19
    Downloads: 0