7th Fleet Band Performs American Sound in Yokosuka

7th Fleet Band Performs American Sound in Yokosuka

by Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs Office
Stripes Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan – The U.S. 7th Fleet Band and the Yokosuka Symphony Orchestra performed in a joint concert at the Yokosuka Arts Theater in Yokosuka, Japan Sept. 16.

This was the 9th annual performance of American Sound in Yokosuka which is an event that brings two musical groups together for one day.

The orchestra was conducted by Yokosuka Symphony’s Masaki Ishino and Lieutenant Junior Grade Luis E. Espinosa, Bandmaster for U.S. 7th Fleet Band. The symphony was also conducted by Tokyo Symphony’s Kazuyoshi Akiyama, one of Japan’s most renowned orchestral conductors who has conducted around the world for over 50 years.

The Yokosuka Symphony Orchestra was comprised of 85 musicians and 22 7th Fleet musicians. Fortunately, one of the U.S. Sailors spoke Japanese and bridged the language barrier, translating for both groups.

“Everybody is so nice, helpful and musically talented,” said Musician First Class Tony Carter (SW). “It’s such a joyous opportunity. They’re extremely excited every year to host us and we’re excited as well.”

This show is the 7th Fleet Band’s biggest event they perform around Yokosuka. The orchestra hosted around 1850 guests and was free to attend. The 7th Fleet Band usually performs several local events after American Sounds in Yokosuka for the community.

“The Seventh Fleet band continues to strengthen well established relationships with the local community of Yokosuka through presentations like these,” said Espinosa. “This particular event is so well regarded and effective in creating a positive image for our Navy that attendance is guaranteed to be at capacity.”

The joint portion took five all-hands rehearsals and a full run-through for approximately 16 hours to prepare for this event.

“The People of Japan think highly of traditions, the arts and culture,” said Espinosa. “They have a deep appreciation for the amount of time it takes to master the art of music and see concerts as an opportunity to learn from you personally and share of themselves with you. One of our communication strategies that guides us is to share America's culture through the language of music. The Seventh Fleet Band, along with many other musicians after WWII are credited for bringing Jazz to Japan's shores, and the Pacific Ambassadors Big Band has continued to cement our relationship through that same language. These events also give opportunities for the people of our host nation to see US Navy Sailors first hand and share their positive experience (and selfies) with others around them.”

The U.S. 7th Fleet Band is one of 11 U.S. Navy Fleet Bands, this unit provides musical support for ships, military bases, foreign dignitaries, and many community relations events throughout the Western Pacific.

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