As part of strategies to strengthen ties between the United States of America and Ghana, the US Navy Band visited the Western Region capital Sekondi-Takoradi from Sunday, July 21 to Tuesday, July 23 to engage residents in activities that portray the human face of the security agency.
The band is touring countries along 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 at the Sekondi Youth Center.
Chief Musician First Class Joseph Schoonmaker said the Band’s tour affords them an opportunity to strengthen relations with Ghana and other countries as well as learn and share cultures.
“We are 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 added: “But then we also have the band…and what we trying to do is basically make people happy, connect people through music.”
Mr. Schoonmaker said “sometimes we 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, July 22, the Band together with other US Naval Officers paid a courtesy call on the Western Region Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, at the Regional Coordinating Council.
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.”
The band also paraded through the streets of Takoradi. In the two-and-half-kilometre karaoke, 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 enjoyed from the treat to good music from the US Navy Band.
“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.