October. 17, 2009

Marchand Youth Orchestra & Choir Concert

Saint Lucia: The Voice

The closing ceremony of the OAS-sponsored training workshop for Tutors who will be teaching the Marchand Youth Orchestra and Choir culminated with two very successful concerts, given at the Entrepot Human Resource Centre, on Tuesday 13 October 2009. Both concerts, one in the afternoon for schoolchildren featuring the workshop choir and string orchestra, and one for the public and special invitees in the evening, were well attended and the audiences very impressed by the high level of work displayed after just eight days of training.

The training sessions were conducted by eight visiting instructors: five from Venezuela, two from Colombia and one from Brazil. All the instructors are employed in their respective countries by national programmes which aim to use the orchestra and choir model as a way to target youth at risk and give them an engaging and encouraging learning experience which will change their lives for the better and have a positive impact on the community in which they live.

The Marchand project is being sponsored by OAS, along with similar projects in Jamaica and Haiti, as a pilot Caribbean programme to evaluate whether such a model will have the same degree of success in this part of the world. Should the results be positive, it is anticipated that the programme would be replicated in several other communities.

In St Lucia, the three-year project is being led by a Task Force team headed by the Ministry of Social Transformation, with the collaboration of the St Lucia OAS Office, the Ministry of Education and the St Lucia School of Music. Once underway, students from 10 to 18 years who are resident in the Marchand area and interested in joining the orchestra or choir would be able to apply to join.

All the instruments for the project – initially orchestral strings – are being provided by OAS, which will also pay the part-time tutors appointed. Classes are expected to be held everyday after school hours at either the Marchand Combined School or the Entrepot Secondary School. A formal launching of the programme with performances by the Marchand Youth Orchestra and Choir is expected to take place in February 2010 as part of next year’s Independence Celebrations.

Ultimately, it is believed that the project’s success will rely heavily on the extent to which it is adopted with pride by the host community, and whether corporate sponsors are able to come on board to help partner with government to meet the programme’s ongoing expenses.

Marchand Youth Orchestra & Choir Concert<br/>The Voice, Saint Lucia Journal

LINK: http://www.thevoiceslu.com/cannels/2009/october/17_10_09/Marchand_Youth_Orchestra_Choir_Concert.htm