The National Youth Orchestra has received a major boost with the donation of a number of new instruments.
In a symbolic handover ceremony held at Government House, the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO) accepted the donation which was facilitated by Lady Sandra Williams on behalf of the Halo Foundation.
The donation included three violas, three trombones, three French horns, three trumpets, two oboes and two bassoons.
This is the third occasion on which the Halo Foundation has arranged instruments for donation to ABYSO.
“It is extremely encouraging to see how ABYSO has progressed despite the lock down”, said Lady Williams.
“The students are pleased with the newly introduced element of virtual instruction, and in speaking to the three young players here today, their enthusiasm for distance learning is evident. The gift of additional instruments will provide opportunities for more interested students to be a part of this great musical movement,” she continued.
Director and Head of Fundraising for ABYSO, Eurileen Thibou, explained that the “Virtual Academy” will continue as a permanent and central part of the ABYSO programme.
“It’s a must have. We are still incorporating face to face instruction, as this is an irreplaceable method of teaching,” said Thibou.
“Whenever possible,” she went on, “we fly in tutors for a week or two of intense training with the students. With virtual learning, the tutors are already familiar with the students with whom they have already been working for three to six months by the time they arrive in Antigua. In fact, most of the online instructors have visited Antigua over the past three years.”
Many of the instructors volunteered their time and expertise for two to three hours per week over a three month period.
The four organisations represented in this kaleidoscope of tutors are the Royal OverSeas League (ROSL), the Commonwealth Resounds, MusAid and the Global Leaders Programme.
There are also several local tutors who support the orchestra in the same manner.