September 6, 2011
Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra Breeds Fresh Blood

by Audwin Andrews Tue, Sept 6. 2011

The Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra now has a new bunch of pan players following a graduation ceremony held on Sunday, September 4.{{more}}

The event, which was held at the Sion Hill Village Hard Court saw a total of 44 youngsters receiving certificates after completing the Orchestra’s six-week annual summer training program.

The programme, which started on July 18, targeted children between the ages of eight and 16 and taught them how to play the pan and identify musical notes.

A fairly large crowd comprising of parents, onlookers and government officials who were in attendance for the ceremony, had the opportunity to witness firsthand a number of musical renditions by the young and energized graduates.

Former Minister of Culture, Rene Baptiste, who was a special guest at Sunday’s graduation ceremony, commended the members of the Orchestra who dedicated their time to teaching the children how to play pan.

“Congratulations to all the tutors who worked so hard over the last few weeks to make sure that you would have a lifelong skill, because once you learn to play the pan, it is like riding a bicycle and you never forget how to do it,” Baptiste stated.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition and area representative Arnhim Eustace also made remarks and spoke of the discipline that he has witnessed within the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra over the years.

He further noted that “society does take notice of minor matters such as this.”

Eustace assured parents of the graduates that there are benefits to be derived from the Orchestra’s initiative.

According to him, “there is a great benefit for you, the parents when your children have opportunities to appreciate the need for discipline and the need to work with one another.”

The area representative also expressed his satisfaction with the number of children that graduated from the summer programme.

“When I came and saw a new class of 44 young people, I was pleased, and I must advise all to continue to encourage these young ones every way possible, because a few years from now, we’ll expect them to be in the panorama, but more importantly they will benefit educationally from what they’ve done through this training course.

“It will impact their lives or it may have already impacted them in a positive way. I urge the parents to reinforce in these children, the sacrifices that were made for them to participate in the program,” Eustace said.

Special recognition was also given to Warren Knights, the President of the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra, by Eustace.

“He really has done a lot to push this movement forward and I think he must be recognized for his commitment and contribution to this venture,” Eustace said.

Following the speeches and musical presentations, the forty-four graduates were presented their certificates by Eustace and Luke Browne, the Unity Labour Party caretaker for the constituency.

The Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra is the three time reigning panorama champion and this is the 16th year that the orchestra has offered the summer programme to children.