The US Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band in New Zealand
The MARFORPAC Band New Zealand Tour
The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band (or MARFORPAC) is based in Hawaii and has been around since 1918. The band is made up of 50 highly trained Marines from across the USA and travels throughout the Pacific region providing music for ceremonies and public concerts. It plays a little bit of everything from military to jazz to rock and is visiting New Zealand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. forces arriving in New Zealand in 1942.
The U.S. Embassy hosted The MARFORPAC Band in New Zealand last year during the Rugby World Cup, with an overwhelming response from the New Zealand public. You can read more about last year's tour on U.S. Ambassador Huebner's blog. A selection of videos can be found below and on YouTube.
New Zealand Tour Dates:
The MARFORPAC Band will be in New Zealand for the 70th Anniversary of US Forces in NZ. Below is a list of the band's tour schedule, with further dates and places to be confirmed. Each concert will be free to the public.
Stay tuned for more information soon.
Tour dates also up as an Event on the U.S. Embassy Facebook Page.
Sunday 10 June 2012 - 2 pm - Paraparaumu - PLEASE NOTE: THIS CONCERT AT SOUTHWARDS CAR MUSEUM IS NOW SOLD OUT.
Public concert at Southwards Car Museum, Paraparaumu
Free tickets available at the Coastlands Information Desk or at the Information Tent in Queen Elizabeth Park on Memorial Day (May 28). For more infornmation visit MarineNZ.com (The Kapiti U.S. Marines Trust). [view photos]
Monday 11 June 2012 - 10.30 am - Porirua
Free public concert at Te Rauparaha Arena, 17 Parumoana Street, Porirua [view photos]
Tuesday 12 June 2012 - 1 pm - Masterton
Concert at Wairarapa College, 83 Pownall Street, Masterton
(entry through Renall Street)
Wednesday 13 June 2012 - 5.30 pm - Wellington
Free public concert at Old St Paul’s, Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington
Thursday 14 June 2012 - 12.30 pm - Wellington
Public concert Civic Square, Wellington
Thursday 14 June 2012 - 5.45 pm - Wellington
Sunset ceremony, forecourt of Parliament
Friday 15 June 2012 - 7.30 pm - Waiouru
Public concert at Camp Conference Centre, Waiouru Army Camp.
Parking is on Old Block 5 Parade Ground
Sunday 17 June 2012 - 2.30 pm - Ngaruawahia
Public concert at the Kimiora Dining Hall, Turangawaewae Marae, River Road, Ngaruawahia
Monday 18 June 2012 - 11 am - 12:30pm - Takapuna, North Shore
Concert with Royal NZ Navy Band
Bruce Mason Centre, 1 The Promenade, Takapuna, North Shore
(A $4 cover charge towards venue costs applies to all performances at this venue.)
Tuesday 19 June 2012 - 11am - Auckland
Free public concert, auditorium, Auckland War Memorial Museum
The band will be in the Museum from 12pm – 1pm
(on the Court of Honor, weather permitting, or WWI Sanctuary, if wet weather)
(NB: 11.45am - 13.30pm: Military vehicles on display on the Court of Honour, weather permitting)
Wednesday 20 June 2012 - 2pm - Christchurch
Joint public concert with NZ Army Band
La Vida, Hanson’s Lane, Riccarton, Christchurch
Wednesday 20 June 2012 - 7pm - Christchurch
Public concert at GeoDome in Hagley Park
Thursday 21 June – 10:30am - Christchurch
Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band concert for school groups at Geo Dome in Hagley Park (contact email@example.com to reserve a block of seats for school groups). This concert is also open to the public.
Videos from the 2011 New Zealand Tour:
More videos can be found on the Embassy's YouTube Channel.
MARFORPAC Band History
The exact origins of the Marine Forces Pacific Band are unclear. It is believed that sometime before the 1920's Marines not assigned as musicians, but having musical talents, collaborated on their off duty time to rehearse and perform for base dances, social functions and military ceremonies. These activities eventually led to the establishment of the band c. 1918.
The band itself is one of the oldest American military units in Hawaii, even older than Marine Forces Pacific itself. Pictures indicate that the first title of the band was simply "Marine Post Band". The band played for official military ceremonies and provided entertainment for social events. The Post Band spent the next 75 years at Marine Barracks Pearl Harbor. When the Navy established Pearl Harbor as its own, the name of the band changed to "Marine Barracks Band". Other titles over the years include the "Pacific Area Marine Band, Territory of Hawaii" and the "Pacific Area Drum and Bugle Corps".
In September 1944, by order of Lieutenant General H.M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith, the band was renamed the "Fleet Marine Forces Pacific Band" and was attached to Marine Forces Pacific.
In 1993 the band moved from Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor to its present location at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Today, as it was in the past, the band is a versatile organization comprised of Marines with a wide range of musical talents. They come from all across America to do what they love - play music and bear the title "United States Marine".
More on MARFORPAC can be found at Marines.mil.
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