Samoa gigs a highlight for Navy Band

Published on LSIS Craig Walton (author and photographer)

Location(s): Apia, Samoa

Topic(s): Royal Australian Navy Band, HMAS Choules (L100)

A teacher and children from Aoga Fiamalamalama special needs school dance as the Royal Australia Navy Band Sydney plays during HMAS Choules' visit to Apia, Samoa. (photo: LSIS Craig Walton)
A teacher and children from Aoga Fiamalamalama special needs school dance as the Royal Australia Navy Band Sydney plays during HMAS Choules' visit to Apia, Samoa.

Performing in Samoa recently was a career highlight for Musicians from the Royal Australian Navy Band Sydney.

The band members visited with HMAS Choules as part of Australian Defence Force engagement activities in the South West Pacific.

Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet in Apia, Samoa.

Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet in Apia, Samoa.

Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet is one of the band’s vocalists. He said he was thrilled with the lively response from students who were up and dancing during the band’s performance at Avele College, a high school in Samoa.

“Our band has told me that the Avele College performance was received in the most amazing way we’ve ever been received anywhere in the world.

“So it’s been a very moving experience for us, and the feedback was incredible.

“The students were very positive and very keen to give back to us and include themselves in our performance, so it kind of became a unique joint experience for all of us together, so we were all very moved,” Able Seaman Musician Nivet said.

The 45-year-old from Waterloo in Sydney has served in the Royal Australian Navy since 2012 and says gigs like those in Samoa are some of the highlights that make his job so satisfying.

“Performance, it’s always been my happy place,” Able Seaman Nivet said.

The band delivered many performances for residents and community leaders from across Samoa during the visit by HMAS Choules in late August.

The band also performed at Mapuifagelele Home for the Aged and also Aoga Fiamalamalama Special Needs School.

Petty Officer Musician Robert Flynn said in a cultural way, music speaks across all languages.

“So a language barrier doesn’t seem to matter when we play at schools, and it tends to brighten their day. It’s always a lot of fun,” Petty Officer Flynn said.

Imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20192052.