U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

MarForPac Band entertains Stratford community

By Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez | | September 19, 2011

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Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Sullivan, enlisted conductor, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, conducts a concert at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Sullivan, enlisted conductor, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, conducts a concert at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performs at the Stratford War Memorial Centre for a community outreach event here Sept 13. The MARFORPAC band is in New Zealand to kick off a yearlong celebration for the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performs at the Stratford War Memorial Centre for a community outreach event here Sept 13. The MARFORPAC band is in New Zealand to kick off a yearlong celebration for the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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David Huebner, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, speaks at a community outreach concert by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The MarForPac Band is in New Zealand to kick off a yearlong celebration for the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

David Huebner, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, speaks at a community outreach concert by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The MarForPac Band is in New Zealand to kick off a yearlong celebration for the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Cpl. Ronald Bellomy, trumpet player, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays at the Stratford War Memorial Centre for a community outreach concert hosted here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Cpl. Ronald Bellomy, trumpet player, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays at the Stratford War Memorial Centre for a community outreach concert hosted here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Cpl. Nathan P. Davenport, percussionist, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays the marimba during a concert held at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Cpl. Nathan P. Davenport, percussionist, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays the marimba during a concert held at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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A young girl from New Zealand waves an American flag as the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performs at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

A young girl from New Zealand waves an American flag as the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performs at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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(Left to right) Cpl. Paul A. Tafoya, Sgt. Christopher L. Esquivel and Sgt. Lancelot Muschamp, members of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Party Band, step out to rock the crowd with the song “Sing, Sing, Sing” at the Stratford Memorial War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

(Left to right) Cpl. Paul A. Tafoya, Sgt. Christopher L. Esquivel and Sgt. Lancelot Muschamp, members of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Party Band, step out to rock the crowd with the song “Sing, Sing, Sing” at the Stratford Memorial War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Lance Cpl. Daniel Chunn, percussionist, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, alternates playing the tympani and the cymbals during a concert held at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

Lance Cpl. Daniel Chunn, percussionist, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, alternates playing the tympani and the cymbals during a concert held at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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The local Stratford community stands to applaud the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band for their performance at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)

The local Stratford community stands to applaud the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band for their performance at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept 13. The concert was held for the Stratford community to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Staff Sgt. Charles Harbinson, a bass player for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific band, talks to Stratford school children about his performance at the Stratford War Memorial Centre Sept 13. The MARFORPAC band held a concert as a community outreach event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942.

Staff Sgt. Charles Harbinson, a bass player for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific band, talks to Stratford school children about his performance at the Stratford War Memorial Centre Sept 13. The MARFORPAC band held a concert as a community outreach event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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STRATFORD, New Zealand -- The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific band held a concert as a community outreach event at the Stratford War Memorial Centre here Sept. 13.

The concert is part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of U.S. Marines landing in Wellington in 1942.

This is not the first time Marines have been in Aotearoa, the native Maori term for New Zealand, said David Huebner, the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand. Right after the outbreak of World War II, the Marines and Army came to protect the Aotearoa homeland.

“As many of you know, we are coming up on the 70th anniversary of the war in the Pacific, which is our area of operation,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Smith, the officer-in-charge of the MARFORPAC Band. “It’s exciting for us because we get a chance to retrace our history 70 years later as it occurred.”

Over the course of the war, approximately 200,000 Marines and soldiers came through New Zealand on their way to or from the island battles in the Pacific.

“One of the foundations of the very warm relationship between our two countries is the great debt of gratitude the Americans hold for the kindness shown to our military folks during the war,” Huebner said. “For many of our young men, the last moment of kindness and happiness they had was here in Aotearoa before going to battles from which they never returned and we’re deeply grateful for all of that. Therefore, we are delighted to bring you the Marines.”

Students from St. Joseph’s Primary, Stratford High and St. Mary’s High Schools, along with the people from the Stratford community attended the concert.

“It is good for (the Marines) to come back, and it’s good for them to come to see all of New Zealand,” said Natasha Sutton, a young schoolgirl here who attended the event with her parents.

As the show band broke away from their chairs and into the aisles to play “Sing, Sing, Sing,” girls of the St. Mary’s High School jumped out of their seats and screamed in approval of the Marines’ performance. The show band even had a few of the senior citizens of the community out of their seats as they played for them.

As the concert ended, many from the local community stayed to compliment and converse with the Marines. Several called the concert “absolutely wonderful” and cheers went up at the announcement that the Marines should be returning next year to celebrate the actual date of the 70th anniversary.