Sion Hill Euphonium adds more pannists to the fold
This year, the summer training programme of the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra netted 57 trainees, among them 18 adults.
They were taught to play the instrument by tutors Mikalla Knights, Septimus Cain and Tillal Webb.
Armed with their new skills, the enthusiastic players, including the adults, gleefully stood behind their pans last Sunday at the Sion Hill Village hard court, and performed the songs learnt during the six weeks for the training programme.
The youth trainees belted out Andy Narell’s ‘Sugar Road’; ‘I believe I can fly’ by R Kelly, along with Hance John’s ‘Déjà vu’, and ‘My Love is your Live’, by Whitney Houston.
Meanwhile, the adults performed Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ and the folksong ‘Walk a mile and a half’.
As usual, the junior training programme included an educational component in which the trainees were taken on educational and scenic tours.
It was another pleasing exercise, according to Knights, who was response for the youth segment of the training. She expressed delight in the progress of the trainees over the six weeks period and is hopeful that many of them will go on to add the numbers to the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra.
And, those trainees who were exemplars were awarded at last Sunday’s graduation ceremony.
Adjudged the most outstanding trainee was Casia Moses; most disciplined trainee – Zariel Nelson and most improved – Whitney Richards.
Warren Knights – chair of the Sion Hill Euphonium Inc., in underlining the significance of the annual training programme stated that his organisation “holds fast to the belief that we all have a role to play in positively shaping the minds of our youth, helping them to realise their potential, hone skills, and dream of real possibilities beyond their present circumstances and popular culture”.
He added: “We want our young people to stay away from crime and violence, to learn and practice values of pride that they can become people of influence and add their voice to national conversations”.
Warren Knights’ thoughts were echoed by others persons who gave remarks at last Sunday’s graduation ceremony.
President of the Youlou Pan Movement- Oneka Morgan; parliamentary representative for East Kingstown – Hon. Arnhim Eustace, Minister of Health – Luke Browne, as well as Lavina Gunn of the Mustique Charitable Trust, who all extolled the role played by the steel band, in shaping the young minds.
In a gesture of gratitude, the Sion Hill Euphonium Inc., presented plaques of appreciation for the worthy contributions made by Right Stuff, Arabesque Inc., FLOW Communications, the National Properties Limited, the Mustique Company and the Mustique Charitable Trust.
Also presented with token of appreciation were five students who are members of the Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra and who were successful at this year’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).
Among the group was St Vincent and the Grenadines’ top female performer at CSEC – Sariah Jackson.
The Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra began its youth training programme in 1995.