NATION

Washington Tin Band – More Than Just Music

If the tale behind the Christmas carol ‘Little Drummer Boy’ has sentimental meaning for you, then you will understand the plan by 24 unemployed percussionists to entertain those living in
09 Jan 2017 11:03
Washington Tin Band –  More Than Just Music
Washington tin band conductor Netava Bosenawai goes low for a low tune while performing at the bus terminal in Suva on saturday afternoon.Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

If the tale behind the Christmas carol ‘Little Drummer Boy’ has sentimental meaning for you, then you will understand the plan by 24 unemployed percussionists to entertain those living in bondage.

Turning trash discarded by upper class families surrounding one of Delainavesi’s sub-urban settlement into musical instruments, the Washington Tin Band, (as they call themselves) are also remodelling their entertainment plans with a more positive dimension this year.

The inclusion of a variety of instruments to bring in more flavour to the rhythm of the percussions, including the comedians on the frontline says ‘’ had boosted their modus operandi.

The idea this year, she said is to raise the platform of their performance from mere merry makers, but to reach out to those they can help psychologically with their music. Since the founding of the band five years ago, the group had planned to drift a little from their normal entertainment rounds in Lami to giving the inmates of Korovou Prison a taste of the very sound that had jammed the traffic and attracted multitudes of smiling faces.

“For those locked throughout this festive season, the least we can do is to bring the fun to them so they know what fun there is on the outside,” Ms Matata said.

“If these boys can bring a smile to the crowd as they do today, then they can do the same to someone who would need an extra boost within those walls.”

Samisoni Baleiwasawasa, who took up the yoke of leadership five years ago, echoed similar sentiments saying that art had been the inspirational mentor to life changing experience.

“Like sports that had seen the rise of many from the gutters to stardom, music had been proven to be a universal tool for change to many,” Mr Baleiwasawasa said.

Team member and Year Six student of John Wesley College Lilibau Marama said she now had a deeper appreciation for art and overcame her shyness since joining the biscuit tin band this year.

“I am a more confident person now after a few stints with the boys around Suva,” Ms Marama said.

The youngest member of the team, Sikiti Waqa, 14, joined two years ago is now boasting about his skills when trusted with the 44-litre gallon bass drum.

“My skills are getting better every time I am with the band and I hope to become a drummer in a professional band someday,” Sikiti said.

The ‘Little Drummer Boy’ is growing.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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