III MEF Band performs for the community of Juku No Mori

by Cpl. Tayler Schwamb, Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Stripes Japan

Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force brass band performed for members of the local community May 4 at Juku No Mori in Shizuoka, Japan.

The band performed in support of Combined Arms Forces Training Camp Fuji’s community engagement plan, building bridges between the local and military community through the international language of music.

Members of the local community clapped and danced as Marines performed R&B, funk and jazz songs. The Marines made a point to interact with the audience, giving them instruments to play, and performing throughout the crowd.

“Music is an international language,” said Master Sgt. Michael Stanley, the enlisted conductor of the III MEF Band. “It breaks all barriers, language barriers, cultural barriers, everything. The moment that music began you saw people’s faces lighten up. When you have a lot of Marines in dress blues in front of you, that could be very intimidating, but when the music begins we start to build bridges. We are not construction workers, carpenters or actual engineers and we do not build actual bridges but we do build bridges that cross countless other barriers.”

The Marines eagerly immersed themselves in the culture before and after the event, sharing new foods, laughs and sparking conversation with members of the local community.

Photo Caption:

JUKU NO MORI, SHIZUOKA, JAPAN- Lance Cpl. Alex Ilgenfritz performs for members of the local community May 4 at Juku No Mori in Shizuoka, Japan. The III Marine Expeditionary Force brass band performed in support of Combined Arms Forces Training Camp Fuji’s community engagement plan, building bridges between the local and military community through the international language of music. Members of the local community clapped and danced as Marines performed R&B, funk and jazz songs. Ilgenfritz is a saxophone player with the III MEF Band.

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