The renowned Performing Arts Programme at the All Saints Secondary School has been strengthened with a Sandals Foundation donation of a brand new set of steel pans for 25 players.
Current and future students will be able to practice their art form and continue delighting through electrifying performances on the local and national stage. Donated are three sets 6 Bass, 3 sets Triple, 3 sets Double Guitar, 4 sets Double Second, 4 sets Double Tenor and 8 Leads.
The Sandals Foundation handed over the musical instruments, valued at an estimated EC$94,000 on Thursday, November 5 as part of the non-profit organisation’s thrust to advance the development of arts on the island. The pans, which have been in works since March this year, were created by well-known local artisan, Veron Henry of Pan Zone Plus.
The instruments will serve a dual purpose for the 125 students who are currently enrolled in the school’s Performing Arts Programme and the hundreds of others who will be enrolled in the programme in the future. The steel pans will facilitate the practical exercise for the annual Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Music exams as well as the Inter-schools Panorama Competition.
Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke underscored the foundation’s commitment to furthering the education system in Antigua & Barbuda through avenues that contribute to students’ holistic development.
“Music education and art programmes in general are invaluable contributors to teaching lifelong lessons in team work, reasoning, discipline, creative thinking, intelligence and self-confidence. We believe in investing in the holistic growth of students and will continue to invest in programmes that serve in these dynamic ways.”
General Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Matthew Cornall was on hand to donate the instruments on behalf of the Sandals Foundation.
“Education is one of the core areas of focus for the Sandals Foundation and since our inception in 2009, we have sought to invest in resources and programmes that contribute to the holistic development of students,” Cornall said. “Steel pan music reaches the core of the island’s cultural expression.”
The General Manager added, “This investment helps to keep this art form, culture and music alive for generations to come.”
Principal at the All Saints Secondary School, George Edwards expressed gratitude and noted the far-reaching impact the donated instruments will have on the school’s music programme, especially given that the school has not been able to participate in the panorama competition for the past four years.
“We have not been able to enter the inter-schools competition all those years and the pan teacher was becoming very frustrated not getting to teach pan as he should,” he noted. “All of these problems have been resolved, thanks to the Sandals Foundation.”