Monday, June 27, 2011

The National Orchestra of Samoa

This year marks the celebration of 50 years of Peace Corps service worldwide. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the United States Embassy is hosting a Peace Corps/Independence Day Celebration next weekend in honor of the 4th of July. The evening will be chock full of entertainment, featuring Peace Corps project displays, a health awareness play, and what is set to be the highlight of the night, the National Orchestra of Samoa! Of course I had to join.

I am not sure much about the history of this orchestra, but it operates out of the university facilities and is made up of people of all ages, both Samoans and of the expat community. I heard about it through some of the other Peace Corps who have been actively participating for the past year. Although the level of the group operates around that of a beginning elementary school band, it has been a lot of fun to have the opportunity to play my flute once again.

For the Fourth, we will be playing a mixture of patriotic American tunes, patriotic Samoan tunes, and a few waltzes and other standards. The conductor does not really conduct, his style is more to say something like, “one, two….play.” It is all very amusing and I love comparing this experience with all the others I have had back home. Ed Simons would be laughing his head off to observe our rehearsals, and Marvin would have just quit. Smith would call it all “very bad business,” and Jacqui would see it as a teaching opportunity. Forever learning from my teacher even out of her presence, I am siding with Jacqui here and taking it as a teaching opportunity. The students are hard working, dedicated, and I can forse them growing into solid musicians. They just need a little guidance along the way. How exciting to be apart of this organization! One week till the big show!

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