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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the smk marching band has come a very long way

"During this holiday break, the sounds of music, singing, and drumming constantly provide background noise. From morning until evening, the performers of SMK are training to prepare for a special public concert event.

Music programming has really blossomed at SMK over the past few years. The school has always had an outstanding vocal choir and traditional dancing/drumming troop. But Mama Rosemary also had visions of a school marching band, which would provide both musical training for the children and a small income for the school. Little did she know that when she whispered her vision to Mama Gloria that CTT supporters would respond by fully funding and purchasing musical band instruments and uniforms.

I distinctly recall the day that the musical instruments were unveiled during CTT’s Team 3 trip. It was highly amusing to watch the children try to figure out how their mouth should form to make the trumpet blow or get the flute to tweet. The children were quick learners, though, and before long musicians were born. They loved learning to play strange new instruments like the trombone, trumpet, flute, and saxophone.

Fast forward a couple of years under the outstanding musical direction of Sir Ivan, who has taught the marching band since its inception. The band of young players had a playlist of several marching songs where the same couple of stanzas could be played repeatedly.

Just last summer through CTT’s website, Monique Udo learned about SMK's marching band. As a music educator (and very talented saxophone player), she displayed great interest in traveling to Uganda from the Netherlands to teach the band members to read sheet music and train the saxophone section of the band. Working alongside Ivan, Monique has been an invaluable resource and friend to the musicians in the marching band. She has offered teaching, encouragement, new instruments and uniforms, as well as fabulous jam sessions! She is currently at the orphanage for her third visit.

And now the excitement is about to culminate with SMK’s special public concert, which will be held at a local secondary school in a large hall that holds over 300 guests. Local community members, family and neighbors have been invited. There will be a little of all things musical that day: the band will showcase its vast repertoire of musical selections; Monique will astonish the crowd with her own solo saxophone performance; the vocal choir will serenade with their songs containing messages that uplift, sadden, and give pause for the plight of the African child; the dancers/drummers will delight with traditional Ugandan dances from every region of the country.

On August 26th Come one, come all… You won’t want to miss a minute, and everyone is most welcome!"

- Melissa Mosher, CTT/SMK Social Worker and Liaison

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I so wish I could go to this. Congratulations to all the kids and everyone that helped make something like this possible. What a joyous time it will be!