In a quest to keep its music programme alive, the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) is getting ready to host a benefit concert on Saturday (June 16) to replace the school’s musical instruments lost during last year’s disasters.
The event is being held at the Tortola Pier Park at 6pm and patrons are being told to expect a packed entertainment schedule which will include more than 15 alumni presentations.
The entrance fee will be a donation of no less than $10.
Bisa Smith, who is a school guidance counsellor and one of the organisers of the event, said the August floods ‘completely’ wiped out their art department and the hurricanes ‘took away the school’s band room’.
“So, we lost our band room plus all our instruments … and we don’t want that programme to die,” she said.
Smith said because of the setback, the school’s seasonal fundraising activities such as Christmas and spring concerts were scrapped.
Music is the core of ESHS
ESHS Principal, Sandy Underhill told BVI News that music plays a pivotal role at the educational institution.
“The music programme is the heart and soul of our school. Students who went through the music programme can argue easily that the discipline that they learned from being able to play an instrument distinguished them from the other students in the school,” she said.
According to Underhill, the programme has also produced a number of the top musicians in the territory. She said ESHS bred the majority of the members of VIBE and Showtime bands, among others.
Underhill said the music programme is still active albeit being significantly scaled down.
She said the senior students and their assigned instructor were able to utilize their personal instruments to continue the music programme at the ESHS.
However, the school hopes to expand their music programme from its pre-hurricane standing by the start of the new school year.
Principal Underhill said following the concert, a meeting will be held to determine areas of priority to overhaul the school’s music programme. However, the overhaul will be largely dependent on the number of funds raised.
Each year, ESHS music students sit the Royal School of Music exams, which, effectively, is the UK equivalent to the regional Caribbean Examinations Council music exam.
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