West Point Band Presents Concert with
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band
West Point, NY – The West Point Concert Band will present concerts on Friday, August 24th at 8:00 p.m at Valley Stream Park Band Shell on Sunday, August 26th at 7:30 p.m. at West Point’s Trophy Point Amphitheater. The performance will feature the West Point Band performing alongside the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band. This concert is free and open to the public.
The performance will be conducted by the West Point Band’s Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Keene, and Colonel Akira Takeda, conductor of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band. The concert will open with the national anthems of the United States and Japan. The music of John Williams will be featured with Summon the Heroes and Sound the Bells. Musicians from the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band will be featured on a number of Japanese selections, including Reimei, Sharuku, and Jounetsu. The guest musicians will also be featured on arrangements of Let’s Dance and Cherry Blossoms. Traditional Japanese percussion instruments will be used prominently throughout the program. The concert will close with The Stars and Stripes Forever.
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Central Band was established in June 1951 under the auspices of the National Police Reserve, forerunner to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Throughout the last 60 years, it has remained one of Japan’s best-known wind ensembles.
The Central Band’s main activities include regular concerts in the Tokyo metropolitan area, chamber music concerts, national tour concerts, and promenade concerts in business districts. It also appears at a wide range of events such as joint concerts with bands from the Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces, the Japan Self-Defense Force Marching Festival, and school concerts. The Central Band also instructs members of the other Ground Self-Defense Force bands all over the country.
As reporting directly to the Minister of Defense, the Central Band often takes part in performances to welcome state guests and official visitors, and at national events; recently the band performed an elaborate fanfare and other compositions at a well-attended event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the current Emperor of Japan’s ascension to the throne.
The Central Band is active internationally, participating in The Korean Tattoo in 2002, 2004, and 2011, and also attending The U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 2011 in Washington D.C. The Central Band also participates in projects such as “Kyo-en-Prosperous Future for Band into the 21st Century” and The Japan Band Clinic. In April 2008, the band was awarded the 18th Academy Award of Band Performance by the Japan Musical Education and Culture Promotion Society. In addition, in 2009 Col Takeda and The Central Band were awarded the prestigious Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation in the United States of America.
For concert information, cancellations and updates, call 845.938.2617 or visit www.westpointband.com. West Point Band news can also be found by following us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.