Allies in music present 22nd Annual Combined Concert on Sept. 9

by Cpl. Matthew N. Kitzen-Abelson
Stripes Okinawa

As the 72nd anniversary of Japan’s ceding victory to the United States of America in the final months of World War II comes and goes, the two allies enjoy a relationship today that is now, perhaps, stronger than ever, as an increasingly hawkish political climate envelops the Far East.  In celebration of this important friendship, the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces 15th Brigade Band will unite for the 22nd Annual Combined Concert next month.  As much a public declaration of solidarity between two democratic forces as it is a night of great entertainment by musical ambassadors-in-uniform, the tradition that began under the name “Friendship Through Music” continues this year with a program that takes the listener through moments of lightheartedness, tenderness, and the jauntiness of youth, among other moods of the evening. 

Music from Arthur Sullivan’s comedic ballet “Pineapple Poll” will set a cheerful tone for the night, followed by the nostalgic aria “Va, pensiero,” from Giuseppe Verdi’s landmark opera, “Nabucco.”  Joining the Marines onstage as vocal soloist will be 1st Lieutenant Karoline Foote, of 1st Marine Air Wing Public Affairs.  Another substantial work on the program, from the Wind Band’s earliest days as a fledgling ensemble vying for relevance among serious musicians, is Percy Grainger’s “Children’s March.”  Following the Marines’ performance, the 15th Brigade Band will perform a standalone portion before the two bands sit side-by-side for a series of collaborative pieces, including Alfred Reed’s “El Camino Real,” Richard Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral,” and an original rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing.”

The 22nd Annual Combined Concert takes place on Saturday, September 9th at 7pm onstage at Ginowan Civic Hall.  Tickets are free and available to pick up at the III MEF Band Hall, located between the Ocean Breeze and Foster Community Center.  For more information, please call the III MEF Band at 098-970-3919.

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