HONAIRA, Solomon Islands --
Living up to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific motto of ‘In any clime and place,’ the Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band performed for a crowd of more than 2,000 islanders in this beachside town on Guadalcanal Saturday.
The Marine Band, which is currently supporting a tour in the South Pacific, made a stop in this city in preparation for honoring the 65th anniversary of the 1st Marine Division’s amphibious landing on Guadalcanal.
The band marched down the town’s main street playing alongside the Solomon Islands police department band while gathering a flock of listeners of all ages closely in tow. Most of the local citizens had never witnessed anything like this before.
“This is my first time seeing Americans playing music for us, and it makes me feel very good inside,” said George Goloni, a 64 year-old resident of the island. “It makes me feel comfortable that the Americans are doing something like this.”
The Marines, who were able to take a break from life aboard a U.S. Navy ship, were thrilled about treating the locals to an impromptu show while stretching their ‘sea legs.’
“This is very exciting because you can tell that these people don’t get this type of entertainment ever,” said Sgt. Mark A. Adame, a 26 year-old trumpet section leader from San Antonio, Texas. “It feels good to provide stuff like this, and the people here seem to like us because they follow right behind the band.”
The Marines marched and played for nearly a mile down the business district before congregating near the town’s busiest section: the open-air produce market.
“It’s great to see such a large turnout of people, although the mornings are usually busier down here at the market,” said Eliza Glasson, a 38-year-old resident of the island who works with the U.S. Consulate’s office.
Marines like Cpl. Mark Pellon treated the crowd to an in-your-face performance by playing his saxophone while weaving through the sea of people. The throngs of listeners responded with loud cheers and thunderous clapping.
The band was well received, according to local U.S. officials, and will host a ‘battle of the bands’ face-off against the Solomon Islands police band Tuesday to commemorate the day Marines first waded ashore in 1942.