By Brendan Lai-Tong
Welcome back to the Music in Community series! Today we are excited to take you on a trip to Egypt and Italy!
Despite political unrest in Egypt, the Silver Khartoum International Community School Band (KICS) joined the music students of the New Cairo British International School to perform in the Nile River Music Festival. The combined bands from KICS and NCBIS played four concerts in Cairo: one at the Cairo Opera House, another at El Sawy Culture Wheel, one at Helwan University’s Faculty of Music in Zamalek; and finally, one at New Cairo British International School for the general public, parents, fellow students and faculty.
Here is what Robert had to say about the festival and the band’s experiences in Egypt:
The Nile River Music Festival that occurred in Cairo, Egypt March 29 -April 2, 2012 was a festival of Music combined with great cultural experiences. Khartoum, Sudan and Cairo, Egypt are on the banks of the Nile River, hence the name of the festival. With the news from Egypt always being about civil and political unrest, I would like to think this festival has added a little joy to those who listened to the combined bands from New Cairo British International School and Khartoum International Community School. Students from both schools come not only from Sudan or Egypt, but also from all over the world as well.
This festival was a great opportunity to expand the views and understandings of music students from these two countries and beyond. The four concerts had an estimated attendance of about 700 people; many of whom may have never heard such a large group of instruments perform together. The Festival Band’s long awaited concert tour of Cairo had garnered rave reviews despite the political unrest. The buzz on the streets from everyone is that it was a huge success! Hopefully the message we conveyed to the audience was, ’it is amazing what can be accomplished when everyone works together’.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Silver KICS Band you can visit their website here.
Let’s shift our focus to the Acchiappanote Band. It’s great to see that schools continue to incorporate music as a part of their regular curriculum. Few students had the option to learn music before director Iacopo Maccioni arrived. Thanks to his efforts, and those of musical director Roberto Buoncompagni, the school now has a band program! We wish them all the best in their continued efforts to build this band program in Italy. Ross MacMillan, a teacher in the school sent in this story:
Starting 5 years ago in September 2007 our secondary school (similar to a junior high school in the USA) in Monte San Savino, Italy started teaching all students between the ages of 11 and 13 how to play a wind instrument. During the ten years prior to our school integrating music into the curriculum there were very few youngsters who learnt a wind instrument in town. Now the local town band has 35 young members under the age of 16 and various other musical formations have enjoyed success. What have we done for our community? A school band was formed!
Many of the students have gone on to learn other instruments, which we hope, was encouraged by their first musical experience in the band. Friends and parents continue to follow the school band with great enthusiasm. Since the beginning of our band program roughly 550 youngsters have been taught an instrument!
We believe the educational value of the project has been a considerable help to our community.
Our budget is very tight – we need volunteer support and fund raising for the project to survive. Sheet Music Plus has proved to offer a good range of music – and cheaper than suppliers of the equivalent music from Europe. This has helped our project. Thank you.
Check out the “Golden Sax Quartet” formed out of members of the band:
We would like to congratulate the Khartoum International Community School Band and the Acchiappanote Band for bringing joy to the community through excellent musical performances. Both bands will be receiving a $75 Sheet Music Plus gift certificate. We hope that this will help both of these programs continue to grow!
As always, thanks for following our blog. We hope that you enjoy this series; keep watching this space for upcoming stories.
Want to have your story featured on our blog? We will continue to regularly award $75 gift certificates and feature musicians, teachers and organizations helping the communities around them. Don’t hesitate to send your story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven’t already done so!
Brendan Lai-Tong is the Assistant Marketing Manager at Sheet Music Plus and holds degrees in trombone performance from University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.