Sayonara Concert: PACAF Band goes out in style

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ruth Curfman
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Pacific Air Forces Band of the Pacific Asia's big band, Pacific Showcase, performed at a Sayonara Concert here Sunday with five other bands from the surrounding areas.

"The five cities surrounding Yokota Air Base requested a Sayonara Concert to say thank you and goodbye to Pacific Showcase," said Maj. Daniel Price, PACAF Band commander. "This band has been a favorite among Japanese audiences for the past 18 years and to have these bands come together in this way was the experience of a lifetime."

This concert was also a way for the Japanese and American bands to show their mutual admiration for each other through music.

"My life in music started with the U.S. Air Force Band more than 50 years ago," said Hisatoshi Muta, Mizuho Band conductor. "Brass bands throughout Japan owe a lot to the PACAF band and I wanted to show my gratitude for all the work they have done throughout the local area before they leave."

During the concert bands took turns playing music for the crowd until the finale when the bands joined forces to play a musical farewell.

"The most notable moment was the arrangement of Auld Lang Syne written by our staff arranger, Staff Sgt. Scott Wise," said Major Price. "This piece, titled Though Broad Seas Roar Between Us, beautifully captured the bittersweet grandeur of the day.

"However, there's not much that can top the experience of standing in front of 248 musicians all playing Stars and Stripes Forever," said the major. "I will never forget it."

Overall, the concert was a huge success due to the Air Force band's mission of supporting International relations in the Western Pacific.

"The popularity of the PACAF Band cannot be denied when over 240 Japanese band members and over 1,000 guests came to the final performance of Pacific Showcase last Sunday," said Col. Scott Goodwin, 374th Airlift Wing commander. "While some members from the band will continue to perform at Yokota, the large Jazz band concerts put on by Pacific Showcase will truly be missed. I commend each and every band member for their service to the Air Force and for the outstanding entertainment they've given to the Japanese people."

Due to force realignments within the Air Force, the PACAF band at Yokota will be reduced to 11 military members and one civilian. The band will continue to perform, but only in Japan, while the duties of traveling Asia will be given to another band.