The Safaricom Youth Orchestra marked its sixth graduation in a virtual ceremony on Saturday. Thirty students graduated. Among the graduates were twelve students from Ghetto Classics, whose love and passion for music earned them a spot in the orchestra to play various instruments ranging from the flute, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet and violin.
“I am thrilled to see how far we have come over the years. Some of the students who are graduating have been with the orchestra since its inception. The orchestra imparts all-round growth in music and life skills; and seeing the graduates achieve this is a testament to the dedication of both the tutors and students. It is sad that for the first time we are not able to celebrate this milestone with our late founder, Bob Collymore but we find solace in knowing that we are realizing his dream.” said Elizabeth Njoroge, director Art of Music Foundation.
The orchestra’s annual calendar is divided into three terms, with the first one running from May to July, followed by August to December and finally January to April when the students who have completed high school graduate. At this time, the orchestra carries out auditions where the most outstanding participants are selected to join it. However the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the orchestra’s annual calendar and the graduation ceremony was postponed from April to June.
“At Safaricom, we understand the fundamental role which music plays in our daily lives and it is our promise that we shall continue to support the lives of the young people with initiatives such as the Safaricom Youth Orchestra,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Safaricom has handed over 4G enabled mobile devices to over eighty students to give them access to orchestral music instructions from their homes guided by some of Kenya’s finest musicians and music directors.