As part of strategies to strengthen ties between the United States of America (USA) and Ghana, the US Navy Band visited the Western Regional capital Sekondi-Takoradi from Sunday 21st July to Tuesday 23rd July, 2019.
The visit afforded the officers the opportunity to engage residents in various activities that portray the human face side of the security agency.
The band is touring the Gulf of Guinea, playing music to entertain their audience as well as learning from different cultures.
Residents of Sekondi-Takoradi were treated to several music genres; from jazz, samba, to afro-centric music at a colourful welcome reception on Sunday 21st July, 2019 at the Sekondi Youth Center.
Chief Musician First Class, Joseph Schoonmaker said their tour afforded them the opportunity to strengthen relations with Ghana and other countries as well as share cultural perspectives.
“We looking to build on the partnerships that the US has with several countries along the Gulf of Guinea. We have a medical team, members of the US Coast Guard, Law enforcement, and we are sharing ideas, working on best practices and building our connections and partnerships", he noted.
He continued, "But then, we also have the band…and what we are trying to do is basically make people happy, connect people through music."
Mr. Schoonmaker added that “Sometimes they go to countries where we don’t speak the language but they always speak music. So we use music to connect with people on a very human level”
On Monday 22nd July, 2019, the US Navy Band together with other US Naval Officers paid a courtesy call on the Western Regional Minister Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).
The Regional Minister who was happy to receive the Officers mentioned that the band should make this tour an annual event since the Region is happy to welcome them anytime.
“The Western Region welcomes investments too. I know you came for a security expedition but security can also go with investment. Please let investors know that the region is open for investments as it is endowed with enormous resources; there are gold, timber, lithium, cocoa, oil and more natural resources in the Western Region”, he added.
The band also floated through the streets of Takoradi on Monday 22nd July, 2019. In the 2 and half kilometre float, the band treated market women, students, artisans, taxi drivers and other professionals to good music.
The St. Johns Anglican School at Ketan Road and Naval Base Cluster of Schools in Takoradi also benefitted from the special treat to good music from the US Navy Band on 22nd July, 2019.
“The warmth and friendliness of the people is almost overwhelming. The generosity…it’s not like any other culture in the world. When you come to Ghana, Nigeria everyone is saying welcome, welcome”, Mr Schoonmaker stressed.