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International Military Band Concert in Olympia

U.S. and Canadian military musicians to perform

Performers at the 2018 International Military Band Concert. Photo credit: 133d Washington Army National Guard Band

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The International Military Band Concert will take place Saturday, May 18, in Olympia. Musicians from both Canadian and U.S. bands will be performing. The host band is the 133d Washington Army National Guard Band. Also, from the U.S., are the United States Navy Band Northwest from Bremerton and the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West from San Francisco, California. The two bands from Canada are the 15th Field Regiment Band of the Royal Canadian Artillery and the NADEN Band of the Royal Canadian Navy. The concert is free and open to the public. The International Military Band Concert began in 1992 and has become a well-loved event which shares the comradery between the two countries.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Heather Collett, Readiness NCO, 133d Army Band, Washington Army National Guard, there has been a history of joint events between the two countries going back to the 1990s. "The International Military Band Concert has been an annual event since the early 1990s, when British and Canadian forces trained on JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord). After the first several years, the Canadian and U.S. forces kept the tradition going. The concert was hosted in Olympia for many years, before rotating between U.S. and Canadian locations, with different bands hosting. The 133d has hosted in 2013, 2018, and is also hosting this year. Last year, we were able to participate in the Okanagan Military Tattoo with the 15th Field Regiment Band and it was great to work with fellow musicians who we have developed friendships and partnerships with over the years," she said.

Music can cross country borders and cultural divides to bring people together. "Music is often referred to as the universal language," added Collett. "It evokes a host of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Due to this, it can typically transcend politics, differences, or preconceived notions. Because there is standardization for the way that music is written, it allows everyone, regardless of culture or background, to be able to communicate in beautiful and meaningful ways."

The 133d Army Band represents the Washington National Guard by performing to audiences across the state. The band is located at Camp Murray, and meets one weekend a month. During the summer for annual training, the band performs on a two-week concert tour around the state. It is a diverse group with members from their late teens into their mid-50s. In their civilian life, band members are music teachers, professional musicians, students and other careers. The 133d Band also performs throughout the year at Army National Guard ceremonies, state functions, community concerts, sporting events and other events.

International Military Band Concert, 7 p.m., Saturday, May 18, Free, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585,

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