BUCKHANNON — With less than four months remaining until Buckhannon becomes a world stage, representatives with the National Cadet Corps, Ghana visited the area ahead of the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) 2023 Competition.
Randy Sanders, president of the WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee, said National Cadet Corps, Ghana representatives Nicholas Nii Tettey-Amarteifio and Evelyn Naa-Dei Thompson will tour the area during their week-long visit, which began Tuesday.
“These site visits continue to be great opportunities to build relationships with our international visitors and give them a more personal view of Buckhannon, neighboring communities and grounds for the competition. We want to leave lasting impressions that not only feed the fires of excitement leading up to the competition, but also ignite a desire to explore more of West Virginia,” he said.
Nii Tettey-Amarteifio said a goal of the visit is to take what they learn and use it to tell a story to the youth. He said it is important to tell the youth their upcoming visit isn’t just about the competition; it is about what they can show the world.
If young people from small Ghanian villages are able to play musical instruments so well and are given the opportunity to come here, they can do anything, he said.
“It’s about giving the young boys and girls the opportunity to unearth his or her talent. Some people are very good instrumentalists by nature. Some play music without reading notes … You are able to put all these people together and we (show) them to the world,” he said.
Another goal, he added, is to build lasting relationships.
“This competition should not be the end of bilateral relationship between America and the rest of the world. Specifically for Ghana, we are looking at building a very strong bridge where we can invite some young people from America to Ghana to know about various cultural values, being able to learn from what we do. We strongly believe that we will be able to impart onto the young person the ideologies and the way they do things,” he said.
The WAMSB 2023 Competition will take place in Buckhannon from July 17-24. This is only the second time in the event’s 26-year history that it has been held in the United States and it is going to create a significant impact across the region, bringing in thousands of international participants.
This event will provide short-term economic impacts to the state and serve as an opportunity to foster long-term economic development, recurring tourism and provide an opportunity for elected officials, colleges and more to develop relationships with international dignitaries.