For ten days and with typical Tobago charm, 25 young “cultural ambassadors”, ages 9 – 26 years, played their way into the hearts of Jamaicans. Now back home from a tour which included a workshop, concerts, 10 performances and radio and television appearances, the young people of the Glorious Sounds musical ensemble said it was a life changing experience. Glorious Sounds is a community-based musical band originating from the Scarborough New Testament Church.
“Our lives are forever changed having visited the Mustard seed community”, one clarinet player told THA Chief Secretary Orville London as the group shared their experiences with him on Friday (29th July, 2011), at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex. Senior trainer Jenny Thom said she was grateful to the THA for helping to make the trip possible. She further acknowledged that over years, the THA had been of great assistance to them through the Divisions of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport and Community Development and Culture.
The Mustard Seed Community of Jamaica is home to almost 300 of the society’s most vulnerable and marginalised, including children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/Aids and teen mothers. Glorious Sounds also visited the UWI Mona Campus and various historical sites.
London said it was ironic that the young people did not receive the same celebrity-type media coverage in Tobago as they did in Jamaica. He added that especially in times like these where the negatives of some young people are often underscored, it was important to highlight youth who are showing the fruits of “hard work and commitment”.
In fact one Jamaican newspaper reported that the youngsters put on performances with such professionalism and dedication. “Transitioning smoothly from one piece to the other in rapid succession, without missing a note”, the writer said.
Band Director, Pastor David Elder noted that since its inception in 1996, the group continued to grow despite some members migrated or moved away to further their studies. He said membership is open to children as young as seven years old.