The seventh Safaricom Youth Orchestra graduation ceremony takes place Sunday, a fete that will see 11 music students awarded certificates in orchestral music.
The event will be conducted virtually for the second year in a row, and will be streamed on Safaricom’s YouTube Channel from 2 PM East African time.
The students have learnt to play various instruments ranging from the Flute, Alto Sax, Trumpet and Violin.
“I started playing the French horn four years ago when I joined the Ghetto Classics program. I have also been a proud member of the Safaricom Youth Orchestra over the last three years. Music is an integral part of my life, and the orchestra has allowed me to nurture my talents, explore music and gain exposure with world-renowned artists in the industry. I would like to study classical music in university, and I cannot wait for the world to hear my songs,” said Cyndicate Kabei, Safaricom Youth Orchestra Class of 2021 graduate.
Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom CEO noted that music education is highly beneficial to students’ well-being and development which is something they are dedicated to continuously support and invest in music platforms such as the Safaricom Youth Orchestra and Ghetto Classics that play a key role in uplifting the lives of young boys and girls.
With the disruptions brought about by the pandemic last year, Safaricom provided over 80 members of the orchestra with 4 G-enabled mobile handsets and airtime to enable them to attend rehearsals virtually.
“Today marks a very big day for us and I am overjoyed to see our students grow into young talents. Our aim has always been to provide the youth with an opportunity guided by some of Kenya’s finest musicians and music directors to obtain skills necessary to become Kenya’s next generation of professional musicians,” said Elizabeth Njoroge, Founder- Art of Music.
The orchestra’s year is divided into three terms, May to July, August to December and finally, January to April, when the students who have completed high school graduate.
The Safaricom Youth Orchestra was launched in 2014 by the late Bob Collymore with the aim of bringing together gifted and talented students and tutors to make beautiful music. Over 130 students have graduated so far and progressed to pursue their university education, specializing in different disciplines.
The orchestra draws 45 percent of its students from public schools, 30 percent from the Ghetto Classics program, and 25 percent from private schools.
Call for applications to join the orchestra closed end of March, and auditions are currently being held virtually, where successful candidates will be selected by the music directors and tutors through a combination of theoretical and practical tests.