Today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Governor General Sir Colville Young received a donation of instruments on behalf of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. The donation was made by the newly appointed South Korean Ambassador to Belize, Lee In-ho. Now we aren't talking about a guitar and drums here, these are rare and exquisite instruments, including a Yamaha Baby Grand, a Glockenspiel and a Contrabassoon.
Minister of State for Culture, Elodio Aragon received the instruments, along with some members of the orchestra and 7News was there:
Hon. Elodio Aragon
"We got a hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth in equipment, equipment for the orchestra. This came from South Korea. The ambassador was here this morning as you all saw, and he officially handed over the equipment to us today. And you know, it's something good for Belize, because these are very expensive equipment, and to come up with $150,000 for such equipment is not an everyday thing. This equipment will be put to good use for the Belize orchestra, and I think it will be something good for us to get more people involved in the music industry in terms of the orchestra and playing these musics and learning the equipment."
Colville Young Jr.
"Of course I am very excited. Our kids for a long time have been interested in music, wanting to play, wanting to perform, but a lack of equipment has really been keeping them back. So now we have the tools."
"So this will allow the orchestra to expand?"
"Yes, that's what we wanna do. This will allow us to expand. For a long time we had to be working with instruments here and there and borrow from here and so we won't have to do that any longer."
H.E. Lee In-ho (Korean Ambassador to Belize)
"Korea and Belize are close friends and we think that the development cooperation is most important between our two countries. I heard that you have a youth orchestra that is very well organized, very useful in Belizean society, so we decided to donate."
Cindy Burgos (Violinist)
"I'm inspired that we have so many great instruments. I'm definitely going to spread the word, and tell my students, you know, that's musically capable but just doesn't know what instrument they want, we have an assortment of different instruments they can come try. And it will definitely help out orchestra get bigger and better."
And with these unique instruments comes a need for instructors. According to Colville Young Jr., the search is on for expert musicians who teach our young Belizeans how to play these instruments.