Furthering the idea of a Solomon Islands National Youth Orchestra

DEAR EDITOR, I raised the idea of creating a Solomon Islands National Youth Orchestra in letters to the local media last week and I have been greatly encouraged to pursue the ‘dream’ by mail I have received from several members of the public who believe such an orchestra formed by youths, already with the inherent musical talents, interests and enthusiasm would be beneficial.

I have written to the British Council with offices in New Zealand to enquire whether the British Council, with an interest in furthering art in the wider Pacific region, would be interested in aiding the project aim I have outlined.   I wait to get a response.

As the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs is the local Ministry responsible for the National Youth Policy, which includes musical activities, with support from the Culture Division of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, I very much look forward to being able to develop my ideas with the two Ministries to see how we might combine to get the idea of a home grown National Youth Orchestra off the ground in further music development and promotion.

I cannot preempt anything that I might receive by way of help from either the British Council or the two Ministries I have mentioned, but I do believe it would be essential to have a dedicated, qualified and motivated local person to coordinate things from the onset and to be able to oversee the selection and supervision of the youths that would make up the youth orchestra.

Alternatively, a volunteer professional from overseas could be encouraged to come to the Solomon Islands to undertake what I believe would be an exciting, interesting and uplifting opportunity to work with the young musicians selected to form the orchestra.

Perhaps, the Solomon Islands Music Federation could advise whether the possibility of getting a local person to do the necessary work, or say how a suitable VSO might be approached and recruited.

I know that VSO personnel have come to the Solomon Islands for a number of years from Australia, the UK , the USA, Taiwan, Japan and New Zealand and all have contributed in their own way to making life better for individuals, communities and the country as a whole.

As I wrote previously, the group of talented musicians in the UK stand ready to help in whatever way possible with the creation of a Solomon Islands National Youth Orchestra, especially with music training and education, but await news that local efforts to see to the implementation of my ‘dream’ have developed sufficiently to consider holding fund raising concerts in the UK.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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