Yokota Air Force band improves bilateral relationships
Yokota Air Base, Japan -- With all of the languages spoken around the world, music is a language that is universally understood and is used as a way to bring people together. To achieve this the U.S. Air Force band of Pacific-Asia traveled to Saitama, Akasaka and Shinjuku, Japan, to perform as part of an annual lunchtime concerts from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, 2017.
The band is made up of the popular music group Pacific Trends, The Pacific Showcase jazz ensemble and The Pacific Brass ensemble.
“For nearly 70 years we have enjoyed a partnership with Japan, and it’s very important that we utilize music to strengthen those bonds and relationships we have,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Peacock, U.S. Air Force band of Pacific-Asia productions NCO in charge. “We try to get out in the local area as much as possible to support any of the local events that our host nation sponsors.
During the concert, the band played a variety of American classic rock and pop hits that are currently played on the radio now.
“Even though we may not be able to communicate through speaking to one another, it’s great to be able to bond with our audiences through music,” Peacock said. “It’s a joy to connect with those who attend the concerts and see people clapping their hands and tapping their feet to the music we play.”
The band continuously plays throughout the year in various locations throughout the Tokyo Metropolitan area to increase bilateral relationships between the U.S. and Japan.
“Performing in front of a Japanese audience is really special because I can’t fluently speak Japanese, and yet the positive response that we get from them after a concert reminds me that music can speak every language,” said Senior Airman Alycia Cancel, U.S. Air Force band of Pacific-Asia vocalist. “We help show a human face of the military within the local community, and that we are grateful to Japan hosts us while we serve in their country. Going out to perform is a way for us to say ‘thank you’ for continuing to be gracious hosts.”
As they continue their performances throughout the Pacific, the band hopes to strengthen bonds by communicating through their music.