I International Military Bands Festival “The Amur Waves” took place in May 2012 in Khabarovsk.
The idea belongs to Chief Military Drum Major of RF Armed Forces lieutenant general Valery Mikhailovitch Khalilov who visited the Khabarovsky krai capital in 2009 as chairman of judges at the Massed Bands Contest after N. Mikhailov. A great creative potential, wide connections in the sphere of culture and politics of the Pacific region gave an impulse to I Military Bands Festival destined to become similar to Spasskaya Tower Festival in Moscow, only at the far end of the state. The idea was endorsed by the Khabarovsky krai Government, the Administration of Khabarovsk city, and the Ministry of Culture of the Khabarovsky krai.
The contest organizer was one of the krai oldest culture institutions with its great experience in regional rounds of All-Russian and regional festivals and contests, theatrical outreach and ceremonial events in the region – The krai state autonomous institution of culture “Krai research and education art association of culture” under O.A. Fedoseev.
I International Military Bands Festival “The Amur Waves” was devoted to 200 years of Russia’s victory in the Patriotic War of 1812.
Eight musical teams from different Russian regions participated in it, including Central Military Band of Russian Ministry of Defense. The Festival Director was lieutenant general Valery Mikhailovitch Khalilov, Chief Military Drum Major of Russian Federation Armed Forces, Meritorious Worker of Arts of Russia. For several days Khabarovsk became focus of musical life. A genuine revelation of the Festival was the performance of Military Band of the People’s Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Pyongyang). This band was formed in the Pyongyang military school in 1946 and it was its first trip abroad, receiving a hearty welcome from the Khabarovsk audience. A benchmark event of the Festival was planting trees in the park after Yu.A. Gagarin and laying out the first Alley of Military Musicians in the country.
11 military bands became Participants of II Festival in 2013 devoted to 155th anniversary of Khabarovsk since its foundation and to 75 years of the Khabarovsky krai. Among the bands was National Folk Group of Kandong-gu district (Seoul, the Korean Republic). For the first time the festive opening of the Festival took place in front of the Transfiguration of Our Savior Cathedral, third tallest one in Russia, in the most colourful city square yet unable to accommodate all the viewers.
In November 2013 “The Amur Waves” Festival received the top All-Russian theatrical award of mass events, the main national professional award for creative achievements in theatrical performances for mass audience in the nomination “Best City Day” as the best project devoted to the city’s 155th anniversary.
For the first time on the list of the Festival Participants was Northern Army Band of Ground Self-Defense Forces (Sapporo, Japan) and Brass Band of Military Music School of the University of Defense of Mongolia.
Central Band of the National Guard (the Republic of Kazakhstan) became Participant of IV International Military Bands Festival (2015) and it was the second visit as Festival Participants for Military Band of the People’s Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Pyongyang). A bright authentic Brass Band of the Government of the Republic of Tyva (Kyzyl, Russia) known as the sole horseback brass band of Russia that plays folk music instruments was also among the Festival guests.
In 2016 “The Amur Waves” Festival marks its first jubilee.
In the intervening years it became the major event in the Khabarovsky krai cultural life and the entire Far Eastern region. In 2015 the Festival Participants for the first time performed in Komsomolsk-na-Amure. Now “The Amur Waves” Festival is a breath-taking musical theatrical show where military, classical, folk and popular music, marching orchestra parades and performance of the ceremonial guards naturally complement each other. The Festival promotes cultural linkages and international cooperation with the Pacific states, it advertises state symbols and ceremonies, civil and patriotic education of the young.