Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra to bring music to residents 3

MAKING MUSIC: Tumon Bay Youth Orchestra's string section performs under the direction of conductor Amanda Bateman at the Agana Shopping Center's center court in February 2022. Photo courtesy Nelson Xu

The Tumon Bay Music Festival is back and ready to grace the island with various performances in and around Tumon Bay, bringing over 700 performers and music educators from a plethora of genres.

The festival is now open after two years of being silenced due to COVID-19 restrictions. It was last held in 2020, only two days before the pandemic shut down events islandwide.

“At the close of 2022, the Guam Territorial Band turned over the festival to the Guam Philharmonic Foundation where managing director, Joanne Matanane, and founder, Max Ronquillo, resumed operations,” a release from the foundation stated.

Over 700 different performers and music educators from Guam, Saipan, Georgia, Ohio and Japan will be featured this year, the foundation stated. Just like in previous years, the event will be presented over several days – nine in 2023 – at various locations.

The Tumon Bay Music Festival is for all ages and the majority of the performances are free and open to the public.

Performances during the 2023 Tumon Bay Music Festival will include choirs, orchestras, solo artists and small groups, and showcase a variety of genres like jazz, rock and pop. Featured performers include the Tumon Bay International Wind Orchestra, Concordia, Tumon Bay Festival Orchestra and Guam Honor Bands, according to the release.

A youth summit was also added to the festival as well as the inaugural performance of a new festival ensemble: the Tumon Bay Festival Orchestra, conducted by Kelly Schlarb and Norman Babia.

According to the release, the Tumon Bay Festival was founded in March 2005 by Ronquillo, the eighth music director of the Guam Territorial Band – the official band of Guam.

The festival has been in operation since 2005 and various artists and composers have been showcased every year since then, excluding the two years due to pandemic restrictions.


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