Affirmation: A positive, statement to visualize, and believe in, used to raise consciousness and challenge and overcome negative thinking and self-sabotaging behaviorsIts now about a year since we were evicted from our Pan Theatre on the corner of St Vincent and Connell Street. For many of our detractors, it seemed that this was the end of our “mad bull" dreams. But we remained undaunted, and instead we were determined to emerge from this crisis unruffled and committed to breathe new life to our Project. There have been challenges but we believe that we can look back on the past year with a feeling of accomplishment.
We’ve managed to build a new Panyard at 3 St. Vincent Street on our own property in a record time of 3 weeks. Incidentally, the new Panyard is not too far from old one (Corner of Conell and Vincent Street) which stands deserted and abandoned. A rather sad testimony the general disdain that the arts and culture are held in this society.
We were able to complete our new Panyard just in time to participate in the National Panorama. The turn out of the people in the community was overwhelming and police estimates put the crowd at well over 800 persons. We live streamed the event on our Facebook Page and more than 9 thousand persons have viewed the event. This outpouring of support powered the band to the National Panorama Semi-Finals. After the Carnival we were approached to use the facility for a number of events including a Panyard concert for the an international touring band and percussion school from Connecticut USA and even a Property Tax forum.
Additionally, in a first for a local Steelband based organization, we carried out a largely successful crowd funding initiative where we were able to raise TT$ 34,409.48 in the "Help Complete our Panyard" campaign. We would like to thank all those who made contributions to the campaign here in Trinidad and Tobago and in far off places like Australia and Sweden and indeed from all over the world. The positive response to our crowd funding initiative efforts has given us the impetus to launch a full fledged patronage initiative called the Birdsong Hero Programme, which will allow our supporters to help us out financially by making recurrent donations.
We've resumed our Academy Programme (After School, Saturday and Vacation) at a new location at Old Works Department, Agostini Street, St Augustine. Despite the trauma and disruption of the eviction process, some 20 of our students we able pass theory and practical music exams (ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall and UWI). Indeed, birdsong Academy, has now become the leading Music Education and Music Literacy Program in the Caribbean with more than 1,500 students enrolled since its inception in 2004; producing more than 420 formally certified musicians, 36 Music festival Champions, 18 Scholars at local and international Universities and more than 30 of our alumni serving in various National Service Music Bands (Police, Army and Fire Service).
This year our Vacation Camp enjoyed its largest attendance in some years with some 140 students enrolled. As has been the custom, on Saturday (August 19, 2017) we stage the 14th Edition of our Camp Closing Concert. To pay homage to the year, we entitled this years Camp Closing Concert - Affirmation. Admission to the concert is free, but you must have a ticket to attend. As could be expected these are in short supply. Please call +1 868-620-5285 / +1 868- 792-6506 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your tickets. We end our article with a quote from the Greek Philosopher, Plato.
Education in music is most sovereign because more than anything else rhythm and harmony find their way to the innermost soul and take strongest hold upon it