26 Jul 2008

10,000 people fill Nuku'alofa for coronation concert

9:10 am on 26 July 2008

A street party was held in Nuku'alofa last night in preparation for the crowning of Tonga's King on August the first.

The police estimate that 10,000 people gathered, enjoying refreshments and buying souvenirs.

The New Zealand Army's director of Music, Captain Leanne Smith, says rehearsals for the coronation have been taking place with other defence force bands.

"We're actually forming a massed band of all the visiting bands here. Ther's the Tonga Defence Service Band plus the Royal Australian Navy Band. The US Marine Band from Hawaii and ourselves from New Zealand. It is going to be fantastic. We have started rehearsals already and its going to sound really mighty."

Captain Smith says they'll play well known marches, and new works that have been composed specially for the coronation of King George Tupou the fifth.