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Drumming up funds for school band

The percussion ensemble, consisting of some 20 students, is all that‘s left of SMK La Salle Klang‘s marching band.

The percussion ensemble, consisting of some 20 students, is all that‘s left of SMK La Salle Klang‘s marching band.

ONCE the pride of SMK La Salle Klang, what remains of the school’s marching band today is its percussion ensemble.

The band’s equipment has been deteriorating since 2000, save for the percussion ensemble which is now used by about 20 students. They have been unable to get new instruments because of the shortage of funds.

Former student K. Jayandra, who was a band member from 1981 to 1985, recalled how the school had represented Selangor in National Day celebrations in 1983 – one of the biggest gatherings of marching bands.

It had also participated in numerous competitions and did well at both district and state levels.

“In those days, we had tutors who taught us how to read music notes but it is difficult to find such tutors these days.

“It costs at least RM1,000 a month for one tutor to come in and teach the children,” said Jayandra, who is the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman and a member of the school board of governors.

Despite having only the percussion unit, he said the students were passionate, creative and keen to learn.

“Currently, we have only one teacher to supervise the boys but no one to teach them how to read notes.

“The boys learn on their own, based on what they hear, play by ear,” said Jayandra.

He said the school also had good sports facilities, such as tennis, badminton and basketball courts, but there were no proper coaches.

Jayandra hopes more former students and well-wishers will come forward and contribute their time coaching the students.

“The teachers have always been doing all they can to improve the band and sports teams. But they need the help of parents, former students and well-wishers so that the students can give their best.”

Towards this end, the PTA is organising a charity breakfast on July 29 at the school.

Proceeds from the sale of tickets will go towards reviving the marching band, upgrading learning and sports facilities, as well as building a financially stable PTA for the school’s betterment.

Jayandra said the event was also a way to bring together former Lasallians.

“On that day, we plan to take them on a tour of the school. People will also be treated to various performances by the students,” he said.

Tickets priced at RM30 each are available at the school office, or call 012–389 2930 (Jayandra) or 012–901 6608 (S.L. Wong).