by Maria Spiliopoulou, Valentini Anagnostopoulou
ATHENS, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The 1st Athens Military Music Festival started on Friday against the backdrop of the marble Zappeion Hall, one of the most emblematic buildings in the heart of the Greek capital.
The two-day event which features more than 300 artists from top army orchestras and choirs, soloists, and dance troupes from Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Italy and Greece aims to introduce this music genre to the Greek audience.
Although according to the organizers, like Valerios Smirnov, President of the Athens International Music Military Festival, military music has roots in ancient Greek mythology, it is not popular in Greece today.
"Music was like a shield protecting the city... (Today) our target is to show that military music is not only what unfortunately most people have in mind. It is not only music for military parades in squares," Smirnov told Xinhua.
Artists who performed in Athens for first time on Friday enchanted the Greek audience like the mythical Amphion with the powerful music, combined with impressive choreographies and parades.
Marcella Pontes, a tourist from Brazil, was mostly impressed with the band of Kazakhstan's Presidential Guard.
"I loved it so much, it is amazing. This is my first day here and it is the first time (I see) this," she said.