Montana State University

Japanese band to celebrate sister-state anniversary with Sept. 27 concert in Bozeman

September 19, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN - A Japanese marching band that wowed Montana State University officials and faculty earlier this year will give a free concert in Bozeman on Thursday, Sept. 27.

The nationally recognized band from Senshu University-Tamana High School in Montana's sister state of Kumamoto, Japan performed at the Kumamoto City Museum when MSU's Museum of the Rockies moved its dinosaur exhibit there in July. The exhibit, "Growth and Behavior of Dinosaurs," is currently on a tour of Asia and is expected to be viewed by more than 1 million people in Japan, Vietnam and Thailand over 2 years.

The Japanese band will now perform in the Willson School auditorium in Bozeman as part of a Montana tour that also includes concerts in Missoula and Helena. The Bozeman concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a short program by the Bozeman High School Marching Band. No tickets will be issued, so the event is first-come, first-seated.

"When you think of a marching band, you think of parades and football halftimes. This band goes well beyond that," Japan Friendship Club President Ian Marquand said of the visiting band. "These students do most of their performing indoors, and the amount of movement they incorporate into their performances is fantastic. When they were in Montana in 2005, they got a tremendous response everywhere they performed. I can't wait to see the 2012 edition."

The Japanese band consists of 26 girls and seven boys who attend a high school associated with Senshu University. Accompanied by four music directors and the school's principal, the band is visiting Montana this fall because this is the 30th anniversary of the "sister state" relationship between Montana and Kumamoto Prefecture.

Besides performing in Bozeman, the band was scheduled to perform Sept. 21 and 22 in Missoula and Sept. 24 in Helena. They will perform at Disneyland on their way back to Japan. The Montana tour is being coordinated by the Japan Friendship Club of Montana, with assistance from the Montana Bureau of International Trade and Relations, the Bozeman Friends of Music, Bozeman High School, MSU, The University of Montana, and Empire Landscaping of Victor, Mont.

Marquand saw the band perform seven years ago and is helping organize this year's tour. MSU President Waded Cruzado - after hearing the band this year in Japan and learning that it was coming to Montana - encouraged and supported the visit to Bozeman.

The members and leaders of the band will arrive in Bozeman on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 26, and will spend one night with host families during their visit. While in Bozeman, the students will spend time in Bozeman High School classrooms and take part in a marching band rehearsal with their Bozeman band counterparts. They also will visit the Museum of the Rockies and Yellowstone National Park.

For more information about the band's visit, contact Ian Marquand, Japan Friendship Club at (406) 529-6494 or Kelly Berdahl, Bozeman High School Bands at (406) 522-6200.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu