Providence Heights Community Band hits a high note
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:The Providence Heights Infant School, St James, was the scene of lively musical performances by the Providence Heights Community Band, bringing parents and community members together during its third annual music recital on Sunday evening.
Residents of Providence Heights and representatives from the National Housing Trust (NHT) were the audience to foot-tapping performances by the band, which was formed as part of a community intervention project for at-risk youths in the area. The band performed hits by Bob Marley and Michael Jackson and musical pieces from Walt Disney Pictures' The Lion King.
There was also a brief awards ceremony at the end of the musical performances, with several of the band members being recognised for their performance in the programme throughout the year. Those who were awarded included:
Band Member of the Year 2014 - Khary Legg (trumpet).
Conductor's Award for Excellence 2014 - Junior Osbourne (trumpet).
Band Support Award 2014 - Carolyn Clarke, principal of Providence Heights Infant School.
Primary School Academic Award 2014 - Dymani Christie (clarinet).
High School Academic Award 2014 - Patriana Stephenson (flute).
Most Disciplined Band Member 2014 - André Wisdom (percussion).
Most Improved Band Member 2014 - Travis Fearon (clarinet).
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music High Scorer Award - Dremoy Corbin (trumpet).
Manager of the NHT's social development department, Wendy-Jo Williams said that the band was formed through her department's Music Transformation Programme, which seeks to have an impact on at-risk children and youth through music.
"What the programme does is use music to attract their attention ... . These children get to learn music via notes, and they can also learn by ear," said Williams. "What we are doing is investing in resources such as tutors, and it is a partnership between us and the community. The NHT covers the cost of the classes, and we also have a remedial programme."
Williams added: "One remarkable thing is that this programme is sustainable because we have a lot of partnerships, so we are partnering with a lot of entities. The member of parliament (Edmund Bartlett) has been very supportive, and Food For The Poor gave the instruments towards the programme."
President of the Providence Heights Citizens' Association Glendon Ferguson urged community members to support the music programme and the community band.
"I am happy to see the young people and how they have tremendously developed," said Ferguson. "I want to say to parents, and those who do not support the programme, to come on board, because we need the young people ... . This is a thing we can use to transform and make the young people raise the bar from now."