MarForPac Band plays at Rugby World Cup 2011
By Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez
| | September 21, 2011
NEW PLYMOUTH, New Zealand --
The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band played at the pre-game ceremony for the USA Eagles versus Russia game at the Rugby World Cup 2011 at Stadium Taranaki here Sept. 15.
The audience easily recognized the Marines in their blue- white uniforms. Roaring applause went up as the band marched onto the field. They entertained the RWC guests with “Stars And Stripes Forever,” “God Bless America,” and of course, proudly, “The Marines’ Hymn.”
Just hours before the game, the MARFORPAC rock band played at a tailgate party at the TSB Showplace here hosted by the U.S. Embassy. At the party, David Huebner, the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, told guests the MARFORPAC band members were great ambassadors for the U.S. and he has been taking lessons from them during their week’s tour. He later asked the band to go out onto the balcony of the TSB showplace and put on a show for the fans from above the street.
The act ended up attracting the attention of more American fans, which were already in the streets having pre-game celebrations. Eagles fans, dressed in costumes, came from all directions to dance to the band’s music.
“They were very excited,” said Cpl. Paul A. Tafoya, a trumpet player for the MARFORPAC Band. “They were excited to see the band and hear our music. They were asking us to go out on the street and play with them because they wanted to dance.”
Spirits were so high, the band, along with the majority of the tailgate party, to include the ambassador, went out to celebrate in the streets of New Plymouth. The band’s celebratory spirit continued to be infectious throughout the night of the game, as they would sing and chant the Eagles on for their 13-6 victory over the Bears, the Russian national team.