News: III MEF Band hosts 2012 summer concert
Story by Pfc. Codey Underwood
OKINAWA, Japan - Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band hosted their annual summer concert at the Okinawa Convention Center June 9.
The 2012 summer concert consisted of musical styles such as rock, Latin, swing, contemporary, and classical with two pieces dedicated to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.
“A couple of the pieces were chosen to honor the victims of the (Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami) from last year,” said Chief Warrant Officer Stephen B. Giove, the band officer with the III MEF Band. “We thought it was appropriate to honor those who lost so much.”
The two pieces “The Sun Will Rise Again” and “Song for Japan” were dedicated to the victims March 11, 2011, according to Cpl. Christine R. Valentine, a bass trombonist with the band. “The Sun Will Rise Again” was not only dedicated to the victims, but it was also written for them and all royalties from the piece were given to the Red Cross.
“It means a lot to me that the band contributed a music piece to the victims of the disasters,” said Takayo N. Weaver, a spectator. “That shows that they care a lot.”
The annual concert helps foster the relationship between our two countries and shows we are here for them at a moment’s notice, according to Giove.
The band also played various concert pieces, marches, solos, duets, as well as performing a vocal piece by a quintet, according to Valentine.
Some of the Marines normally play instruments not used during marches. The concert allows them to play their other instruments, according to Sgt. Leonard W. Martin, Jr., a bassoonist with the band.
“I march with symbols or a bass drum,” said Martin. “The concert gives me a chance to play the (bassoon) where normally I would not be able to perform with it.”
Not only does the summer concert allow the III MEF band to entertain the Japanese community, it also shows them we care and we are here to help, according to Martin.
“It is an honor to get to come out and play for the local community and be able to be a part of helping the disaster victims,” said Martin.