4 July 2019
The Royal New Zealand Navy Band played and marched in Nuku’alofa today to mark the King of Tonga’s 60th birthday.
The 25 members of the band played traditional and culturally significant pieces in the main concert, including Hine e Hine and The Maori Battalion and will play more modern Kiwi-flavoured numbers throughout the rest of their time in Tonga.
The band will also play in a massed-bands public concert with bands from Fiji, Tonga and Australia tomorrow evening.
Director of Music Lieutenant Commander Michael Dowrick said the band was extremely proud to be representing the NZDF and New Zealand at the birthday celebrations.
“This is a great privilege for the band and signifies the bond of friendship that exists between Tonga and New Zealand,” Lieutenant Commander Dowrick said.
“It is always so special to play in the Pacific and display the musicianship that the Royal New Zealand Navy Band has to offer.”
The performances in Tonga are the first overseas for new band member, Ordinary Musician Natalie Williams.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Band for King Tupou VI’s 60th birthday,” she said before today’s performance. “I’m keen to experience how we, through music making and comradeship, can create friendships across the Pacific.”