On Wednesday, the National Orchestra of Samoa String Ensemble visited Fiamalamalama, a school for the intellectually disabled, to perform a concert with a difference.
After a beautiful, short performance of classical music by the Orchestra, the senior school students took to the stage and played “Noel” on hand bells.
After a short break the Orchestra and students practiced singing and playing ‘Mary had a little lamb” and “Twinkle, twinkle little star” which they then performed together to the delight of the watching teachers.
Japanese volunteer teacher Zaki has been teaching the senior class how to play handbells and read colour coded tablature for the past five weeks.
In spite of the various difficulties these students face they have learnt to play seven songs in this short time. The latest piece they have learnt is the Samoan classic “Le Alofa o le Atua.”
The school visit provided an excellent opportunity for the members of the Samoa National Orchestra string ensemble to build their confidence in performance as well as an opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in a broader variety of music.
The Orchestra is planning on continuing their Orchestra development program with further workshops within schools.
This program will mean that the students have ample opportunities to enjoy the practical music components of the curriculum and learn new skills that may one day lead to them becoming future Orchestra members.
A’oga Fiamalamalama and the National Orchestra will be playing a small concert together during the school’s family day on Friday the 30th of June at 10am. Admission will be free and there will be lots of handicrafts, plants and produce for sale. Aoga Fiamalamalama is located in Alafua opposite USP. We would love to see you there!