Victorious Tenth Anniversary Concert
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the SGINZ Victorious March Band’s (VMB) annual friendship concert with the Manukau Concert Band (MCB). The combined band of 80 players performed to a full house of over 300 people. This year we were fortunate to have Beth Cohen, originally from SGI-USA and now living in Christchurch, as our conductor.
Beth, a professional conductor, has taken our music skills to another level and under her encouragement we have increased our membership from 23 to 34 members.
The programme featured music ranging from classical to samba to Soka Gakkai songs. Some members of the audience danced to the groovy songs while others shed tears listening to the melodious ones. Kathleen Mulligan, the conductor of the MCB, expressed her appreciation to VMB for their ongoing commitment to organising this annual collaborative concert. Kathleen was very impressed by VMB's huge improvement.
The closing number was a joint performance of ‘The Symphonic Beatles'. The children from the Unlimited Horizons and Future Groups joined the chorus, singing 'Hey Jude'.
The bands received a standing ovation with audience members remarking that it was the best concert ever and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We received very positive feedback such as “Congratulations! You guys were awesome and I really enjoyed the show. For me Copacobana was the highlight of the concert.” from E.Wong an audience member. Soumya said “I’ve been with the band for seven years now but was unable to perform this year. It was a different experience for me to sit back and listen to the songs. The growth of the band is awe-inspiring and is a tribute to the hard work put in by all the leaders! Congratulations!”. Ex-band-member Mariko S. said “Congratulations! I felt so fortunate to be there at the tenth anniversary. You guys are really amazing and showed proof of victory. Great memories of being in the band flashed through me. Go VMB! I’m already looking forward to the next performance!”. And first-time performer Satomi K. said “After being in the audience last year, I determined to join the VMB. My dream came true and I’m so happy.”
The evening ended with the exchange of souvenirs and a cake cutting ceremony followed by delicious refreshments. Many thanks to the Behind the Scenes Group, food team and those who worked hard to make it a successful event.
We vow to continue our efforts to do kosen-rufu through our music, foster capable people, and connect with Sensei forever!