First-ever Friendship Music Festival brings US, Japanese students together on Okinawa
Stars and Stripes May 22, 2023
CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — Students from Lester Middle School at this Marine Corps base on Okinawa welcomed their counterparts from Mashiki Junior High School on Saturday for their first Friendship Music Festival.
The event employed music as a bonding agent to foster community, said Lester Middle School music teacher Robert Roth.
Members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 15th Brigade bands mentored about 35 students from Lester and 20 from Mashiki, in the city of Chatan, before the students performed for about 125 guests.
The audience enjoyed songs like “The Avengers” from the movie “Avengers: Infinity War” and jazz standards like "In the Mood."
Roth said he hopes the festival becomes an annual event.