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The donation of a brand new set of steel pans is expected to strengthen the performing arts programme at All Saints Secondary School (ASSS).

The instruments, with an estimated value of EC$94,000, were presented to the school yesterday by the Sandals Foundation as part of the non-profit organisation’s thrust to advance the development of arts on the island.

The donation comprised three sets of six bass, three sets of triple, three sets of double guitar, four sets of double second, four sets of double tenor, and eight leads, and will accommodate 25 players, a release from the Sandals Foundation said.

The pans were created by well-known local artisan, Veron Henry, of Pan Zone Plus.

The instruments will serve a dual purpose for the 125 students who are currently enrolled in the school’s performing arts programme as well as the hundreds of future enrollees. The steel pans will facilitate the practical exercise for the annual Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Music exams as well as the Inter-Schools Panorama Competition.

“Music education and art programmes in general are invaluable contributors to teaching lifelong lessons in team work, reasoning, discipline, creative thinking, intelligence and self-confidence. We believe in investing in the holistic growth of students and will continue to invest in programmes that serve in these dynamic ways,” Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said in the release.

Also on hand to make the presentation on behalf of the Sandals Foundation was the General Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Matthew Cornall.

“Education is one of the core areas of focus for the Sandals Foundation and since our inception in 2009, we have sought to invest in resources and programmes that contribute to the holistic development of students,” Cornall said. “Steel pan music reaches the core of the island’s cultural expression. This investment helps to keep this art form, culture and music alive for generations to come.”

Principal of ASSS, George Edwards, expressed gratitude and noted the far-reaching impact the donated instruments will have on the school’s music programme, especially given that ASSS has not participated in the schools’ Panorama competition for the past four years.

“We have not been able to enter the inter-schools competition all those years and the pan teacher was becoming very frustrated by not getting to teach pan as he should,” he noted. “All of these problems have been resolved, thanks to the Sandals Foundation.”

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