The National Choir and Orchestra of Belize had its debut performance on Newton Barracks on Wednesday. It was an evening of light classics, jazz and Belizean folk music played by students and teachers, including several familiar faces from the Pallotti music school. They were directed by Colville Young Junior, who says the orchestra and choir will an avenue for young people to pursue a career in music while NICH President, Diane Haylock noted that the success of the program depends on the support of their partners.

Colville Young Jr., Director, National Orchestra and Choir of Belize

Colville Young Jr.

"What we are doing is to partner with all the various musical institutions in Belize and the idea is to produce an orchestra that young people, after they have finished school, have something to work towards, get into and in other words, there can be a musical career in Belize and it's not just a hobby that you do at high school. So as not to compete, our ideal age that we're setting for is eighteen years and up. The reason why is that below eighteen would still be going to high schools and so forth and we don't want to compete. But for now, we are accepting any and everybody who wants to be a part of it because it does give everybody an opportunity to become involved at a very nice and high level."

Diane Haylock

Diane Haylock, President, NICH

"We have a lot of needs to be able to make this program successful and we need partnerships and we're beginning to build those partnerships with the existing music schools, music teachers. We need partnerships in terms of being able to acquire the necessary instruments because we want to ensure that this is not an elitist thing, that the orchestra and choir are opened to young people, irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds and for us to be able to do this, we have to be able to provide instruments so that some of these young people from these poorer neighborhoods in our country can participate in it as well."

Channel 5