Youth band tour of Far East a big hit

Seventy-one members, parents and supervisors of the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band (SNYSB) visited Singapore, Thailand and Borneo. Having raised money for tsunami relief, the band was invited to visit Ban Naam Kem to see how the area has recovered and to give a concert in the new community centre built using funds that the band raised.

Seventy-one members, parents and supervisors of the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band (SNYSB) visited Singapore, Thailand and Borneo.

Having raised money for tsunami relief, the band was invited to visit Ban Naam Kem to see how the area has recovered and to give a concert in the new community centre built using funds that the band raised.

In Singapore the band gave joint concerts with the Tanjong Katong Girls' School and the Hwa Chong School that were organised by young Rotarians. They also attended lessons in each school, some of which included PE, Chinese and Malay language lessons. The band also played at the Botanical Gardens and made a visit to the Malay Cultural Centre.

In Borneo (Sabah) the musicians were hosted by local families and were able to fully experience the Malaysian way of life. This was an incredible cultural experience for the band and the hosts were extremely generous and welcoming, with many new friendships now forged.


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SNYSB members were amazed to find billboards advertising their concert scattered around the city at many key locations - and made the headlines in the Malaysian Daily Express on each day of their three-day visit, during which they performed to sell-out audiences of 1200.

The Band took part in workshops and rehearsals at the Tshung Tsin School, with pupils travelling up to six hours to be present.

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The Band also played in the very impressive One Borneo shopping Mall and to 1200 people at the Sabah Concert Hall in front of the Minister of Culture. The Rotary club of Kota Kinabalu successfully raised $60,000, for local charities, from the concert.

In Thailand the band visited the new community centre and gave concerts and took part in a recorder workshop.

SNYSB member Hannah Strode said¨”Perhaps the most special memory of all was when we went to a local school. We took recorders and tutor books to teach the children with. We spent one hour teaching one-to-one and then came together at the end of the morning to play a concert of 'Hot cross buns'.

“The smiles on their faces were a delight to see and gave great joy to the young people from SNYSB. At the end we gave the children the recorders and books and then gave some of the younger children pens, pencils and colouring books. This was very special for the children as they have very few possessions and some are Tsunami orphans.

“We also visited Tsunami memorials such as a police boat washed two miles ashore during the Tsunami, which has been left standing where it laid to rest and is now a lasting memorial to those who lost their lives. The Tsunami cemetery, where unidentified bodies are still being held in cold storage, was also a sobering experience for us”.

Following a meal given on the beach, the SNYSB released candle lanterns with prayers attached into the night sky. This proved to be quite an emotional moment and was followed by a firework display.

The message of 'Music is Fun' was well received and proves that music crosses all cultures and religions.

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