Marines share love of music with students
By Pfc. Ethan Hoaldridge
| | November 27, 2007
KANEOHE, Hawaii --
The children went wild with cheers and applause as ten members of the Marine Corps Forces Pacific Party Band marched into the Kaneohe Elementary School cafeteria with the bass and snare drum kicking the beat, Nov. 27.
The band came to the school to entertain hundreds of students, kindergarten through sixth grade, as part of the Music in the Schools program.
The program promotes music awareness and education in schools which have had funding cut to their arts programs.
“I was in the band when I was a kid and it helps with everything – math, science and most important of all, their imagination,” said Mitchell Otani, Kaneohe Elementary School principal. “All too often there isn’t enough of the arts program in the schools and kids are missing out. That’s why it’s so valuable when the Marines come to play for the children.”
The Music in the Schools program also allows band Marines to tutor and mentor young musicians in the classroom.
While at Kaneohe Elementary, they played a variety of music such as “St. James Infirmary,” the “Sponge Bob Theme Song” and some classic Ray Charles.
The MARFORPAC Band has visited eight other schools in the past two weeks and has conducted 25 sessions this year as part of the program.
“We enjoy performing just as much as the children do listening and watching,” said Sgt. Anson Rynard, percussionist for the MARFORPAC band. “We just want to entertain and spread the message that Marines don’t just go to war.”
According to the principal, the Marines offer more than just appreciation for music.
“The Marines provide great role models for the children,” said Otani. “They come in the schools dressed sharp in their uniforms, stand tall and act very professional. The Marines make a great addition to the educational program here.”