U.S. 7th Fleet Band shares love of music with Seoul

U.S. 7th Fleet Band shares love of music with Seoul

by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Wendy Wyman
U.S. Naval Forces Korea PAO

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The U.S. 7th Fleet Band's "Orient Express" shared their love of music with Korean citizens, during public concerts and educational performances throughout Seoul, April 12-14.

The rock band, comprised of seven professional Navy musicians, kicked off their tour with a clinic for a group of Korean amateur rock bands. Orient Express showcased a diverse range of American music from R&B to rock'n'roll, then helped mentor and provide feedback to their Korean counterparts on their performances. The musical performances were followed by a discussion and jam session with the Navy band.

"For us, our music is all about people," said Musician 1st Class Rob Collier, who plays the guitar for Orient Express. "It's about enhancing partnerships, and bringing partner nations closer together through cultural exchange and sharing our love of music."

Orient Express held two public concerts, one at Deoksugung Palace and another at the Mirae Asset Center Building in Seoul as part of the "Open Concert at Noon" series. The series was hosted by the Korea Foundation Cultural Center, which offers Seoul residents the chance to enjoy music in public venues without having to visit a concert hall.

"The band can go to places where the U.S. Navy can't send a ship," said Chief Musician Jose Acosta, who plays the saxophone with the band. "We sing and perform outreach engagements all over the Indo-Asia-Pacific region - including here in Korea - just as our ships and aircraft operate and conduct naval partnerships with more than 30 maritime nations throughout the region."

The musicians rounded out their tour with an interview and jam session on "Music 2 the Max" with Ben Maxwell from TBS eFM 101.3, the only radio station to broadcast entirely in English in Seoul. Additionally, students from Anyang Information Industry School and Sungshin Women's University had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with band members about their music following performances at each school.

"It's an honor to perform here in the Republic of Korea," said Collier. "I'd like to express our thanks to the people of Korea for their gracious hospitality and support for the U.S. Navy, for the U.S. 7th Fleet, and for our band - Orient Express."

The 7th Fleet Band concluded their stay in Seoul with a performance for Korean government and cultural leaders at the U.S. ambassador's residence, followed by a reception. For many Korean citizens, the Seoul performances highlighted a side of the U.S. Navy that they have never seen.

Orient Express performs throughout the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, with a mission of reaching out to people who might not otherwise be exposed to the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Band was created in 1943 with the establishment of the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet and has performed for thousands of audiences throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The band is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and embarks aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), flagship for the U.S. 7th Fleet, during patrols and deployments. The 7th Fleet band also conducts theater security cooperation engagements independently from the 7th Fleet staff in Korea and in other locations across the region.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnfk/.

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