Military Bands Performances Conclude Tongan Coronation Week

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Tattoo includes US Marines, NZ Army, Australia Military College Bands

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 8, 2015) – Crowds gathered at Mala’e Pangai Lahi for two nights Tuesday and Wednesday 7-8 July to watch an outstanding Military Tattoo, which concluded the coronation celebrations of HM King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u.

Polished performances by visiting overseas bands - U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band (MARFORPAC) and the New Zealand Army Band captivated the audience and together with the popular His Majesty’s Armed Forces Brass Band (HMAF), the Australian Royal Military College Band and some outstanding students bands from Tonga High School, Tonga College, Queen Salote College and Lavengamalie College made two nights of very special entertainment for Tongatapu.

On Tuesday night a brief history of how brass band was first introduced to Tonga was presented in a skit performed by HMAF. It was said that in 1865, Father Lamaze of France, who was principal at a Catholic school in Ma’ufanga brought the first brass band to Tonga. While, FWC ministers brought instruments to be used by Tupou College in 1866.

In 1882, Government’s Tonga College initiated brass band studies and formed a brass band to provide music for the people and carry out national duties. In 1952 this national duty was handed over from the Government College to the Tonga Police Brass band.

The King and Queen attended the Tattoo on Tuesday night, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended the second performance on Wednesday night, wrapping up the celebration which began on 27 June.

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