Ads by Google Ads by Google

Music programs back in Am Samoa high schools

Tau, MANU'A — “We’re fortunate enough to have Mr. Philo Jennings of the Governor’s Office here on Segaula grounds to introduce the basic fundamentals of music and different instruments” including the clarinet, trombone, alt, tenor & baritone saxophone, Segaula Manu’a High School personnel said earlier this week.

Samoa News points out that this is part of the Lemanu-Talauega Administration’s Marching Band Initiative (MBI) implemented in public high schools. The MBI completed its first year in 2022.

In the Governor’s State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, the Administration says that it has been a hectic and challenging school year with all the setbacks due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the territory. 

“With the health welfare of our students – and our people – school closures were eminent and a lockdown of all social activities and gatherings was enforced to safeguard our island communities,” the report says.

It says that students were given e-learning resources, assigned work from teachers, to assist students with their education.

However, despite these circumstances, the MBI team managed to provide musical band services to public high schools prior to the arrival of the pandemic to the territory’s shores.

“Prior to the arrival of musical instruments, music theory was conducted and taught as the basic foundation for the band program,” the report says. “As with all other academic activities, ‘hands on’ approaches are critical in any learning experience.

Mr. Philo Jennings of the Governor’s Office demonstrates his baritone saxophone, just one of the many instruments he introduced to students in Manu’a. [Manu’atele Community photo]

And musical instruments were delivered to high schools — Fagaitua, Samoana, Tafuna, Leone, and Manu’a.

The report revealed that Tafuna High School was able to set up a “Cyber Band” – since all students could not meet and perform at the same time.

An opportunity was provided to create and conduct a ‘cyber’ band performance and experience, the report says. “Students who showed up for classes played their assigned instrument and were recorded at each class during the different days of the week.”