LAE, Papua New Guinea (NNS) -- The Pacific Partnership 2011 Band performed a concert for more than 4,000 people at Kilage Stadium in Lae, Papua New Guinea, May 28.
The band consists of 12 Sailors who are also professional musicians. Their performances cover a range of musical genres consisting of ceremonial military music, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and rock.
For this performance, the band performed ten songs including "Yeah" by Usher, "I Feel Good" by James Brown and "Love Rollercoaster" by The Ohio Players.
"Its been a pleasure to interact with the people of Papua New Guinea through a tuba, guitar, microphone, drums and all the other instruments we play," said Musician 3rd Class Anton du Preez.
Du Preez and the other members of the band are passionate about their belief that music can communicate with people across cultural lines and political borders. They also believe that different genres of music can broaden peoples' cultural horizons.
"A lot of the people in Papua New Guinea only hear Reggae and Hip Hop music on the radio, so we brought some Rock, Motown, Jazz, and a whole bunch of different genres for the people," said du Preez.
The band was met with cheers, applause, dance, and laughter since their first Papua New Guinean performance in Lae, May 21. Since then, the band has performed every day in Papua New Guinea at local venues for thousands of people.
The May 28 concert, with more than eight times the anticipated amount of people in attendance, attracted the largest audience.
"This was the biggest turnout that we've had at one of our concerts since Pacific Partnership 2011 began," said Musician 3rd Class Travis Smilen. "It's amazing how word of mouth spread about our performances after just one week in Lae."
The crowd grew as the concert went on, and when the band played "Let's Get it Started" by the Black Eyed Peas, most of the attendees rose to their feet, applauding the performance, dancing and singing along.
"The energy and enthusiasm from the people is what we live for," said Smilen. "I'm glad we had the opportunity to connect with the people of Lae through the universal language of music."
The Pacific Partnership 2011 band provides host nationals with an opportunity to acquire a cultural interaction with the U.S. that may not otherwise be available through medical, dental, engineering and veterinary civic action projects. While these projects are beneficial to partner nations and host nations alike, the band has been to these events to show another side of the Pacific Partnership team
"I feel like the band and I have made a huge impact on the people of Papua New Guinea, and as we leave for the next stop in Pacific Partnership 2011, I'll be able to look back and draw off that energy and support we received," said du Preez.
Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian aid initiative sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, aimed at improving interoperability between host and partner nations. Now in its sixth year, Pacific Partnership 2011 will continue to Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia following their mission in Papua New Guinea.
For more news from Pacific Partnership, visit:
www.cpf.navy.mil/pp11, http://pacificpartnership/wordpress.com, www.facebook/pacificpartnership/ or http://twitter.com/pacificpartner.
For more news from Pacific Partnership, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/pacificpartnership/.