iM Sarawak supports school band in Miri
MIRI: As part of its commitment to providing assistance to various communities in Sarawak, iM Sarawak recently brought the gift of music to SMK St Columba, donating brand new instruments to the school’s brass band, the St Columba Military Band.
Established in 1996, the St Columba Military Band was the first of its kind in Miri and since then has been a regular feature at prominent public events such as Miri City Day and National Day parades. In 2011, the band won the bronze medal at the National Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
Recognising the value that music can have in the lives of children, iM Sarawak was pleased to support the young musicians and provide them with the opportunity to unlock their potential and foster their talent. The band members were thrilled to receive the new instruments, including a convertible tuba and two mellophones.
Darrell Nadeng Dominic, an alumnus of SMK St Columba who took six months off his university studies to work with the band, said, “We are delighted with the new instruments given to us by iM Sarawak, as many of our 20-year old instruments have never been replaced. We want to win the National Championships someday but right now, what we really need is new instruments to help us get there, and iM Sarawak’s support is certainly a step in the right direction.”
Along with learning about music, many of the band members enthusiastically spoke about how joining the band has helped them understand the value of teamwork, discipline and diligence, as well as gaining a place of pride in the school.
Darrell remembered his time in the band fondly, commenting, “We really worked hard, raising funds, practising more than 12 hours a week yet maintaining our studies. We helped each other with homework, just so we kept up our grades.”
Jeanette Ngu, the band’s longest serving teacher-advisor added, “The band members perform consistently better in examinations. I think it is because they have greater discipline and improved memory from learning many music sheets.”
Other graduates of St Columba and ex-band members also find time to support and guide the band. Angel Hii, who was the band’s president last year and is now pursuing her studies at Curtin University, recalled how the experience shaped her, “I was not a confident person or a leader, but I became one; the seniors helped me. I also learned that success means to never give up. To fight for what you believe in, work hard and then to lead others, guiding them to make them better.”