By definition, a sound wave is a pattern of disturbance caused by the movement of energy travelling through a (elastic) medium such as air. Pertaining to the programme spearheaded by the Saint Lucia School of Music (SLSM), Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and National Skills Development Centre (NSDC), I would have to describe Sound Waves as patterns of constructive disturbance caused by musical education within citizens who are considered youth at risk.
“Sound Waves – Transforming Youth at Risk through Music” was officially launched in October 2016 with a mandate to educate unemployed, underemployed and underprivileged youth in music and life-skills training. Participants were chosen based on their interest in music or willingness to learn and improve through practical and theory learning. SLSM and CDF are the active facilitators of the musical training. Participating students were also enrolled in the courses Life Skills I and II, which focused on areas including work ethics, conflict resolution, and stress management. The project was sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), Saint Lucia Social Development Fund and the Canadian Government.
An official visit from Mrs. Celia Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Delegates, Canada, took place on Wednesday July 13, 2017 at the Saint Lucia School of Music. A short, sweet and well-attended ceremony was held. Caesar-Chavannes was briefed on the overall details of Sound Waves and was able to observe the progress that the thirty students had managed in the previous seven months. She was accompanied by delegates from the Canadian Ministry of Development as well as the Canadian High Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The excited students were eager to display samples of their new learning in musical performance, production, voice training and other aspects. During her remarks to the participants, Caesar-Chavannes noted, “I know these students will exceed any of the expectations that any of us at this table (delegates and local ministers) will ever have. So, I have to ask you to keep that energy alive…”
Also in attendance was Minister of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, Honourable Lenard Montoute. He commented that he could feel the appreciation of the students participating in Sound Waves. He declared, “This is not money that was spent, it was money that was invested.”
Victor Laurencin represented the participants of Sound Waves and delivered a profound vote of thanks on their behalf.
Other participants also took the opportunity to express appreciation for the opportunity during a short discussion between facilitators, sponsor representatives, participants and the Ministry. They understand the capacity of opportunities that musical knowledge and training now provides them and described their plans to move forward and use it wisely.
Attendees of the ceremony were finally treated to two beautiful musical renditions, one of voice (Omega Alexander) and the other on the piano (Sherwin Hippolyte).