SKN’s Defence Force Band Spreads Christmas Cheer
Audiences around St. Kitts have been treated to a series of community recitals that have uplifted the spirits of senior citizens, thrilled the general public and entertained the nation’s youth.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Band has been spreading Christmas cheer with performances at the Department of Culture’s in the Spirit of Christmas, the Saddler’s Lawn, the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in Middle Island, the Grange – a private retirement home, as well as Government’s Cardin Home.
Second Lieutenant Sylvester Charles is the Band Master. He told SKNIS that the recitals are the climax to the band’s community outreach initiative which has taken them to various communities around the island throughout the year. These included specials in April during Easter as well as in September for the annual Independence celebration. The Christmas programme, however, carries special meaning for many.
“The community has supported the band well, as it is not something they are accustomed to,” Lieutenant Charles stated, recalling the enthusiasm of audiences. “Traditionally, about 20 years ago – under Edgar Bridgewater who was the Band Master of the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and also the Police Band – we journeyed through the island playing in every village … and now we are back doing the same thing.”
Charles explained that the shows have fostered goodwill between the Force and the community and has served as a recruitment tool as parents have been asking how they can get their children involved with the band.
He added that the band members enjoyed playing for the public, particularly the residents of the retirement homes, who are not able to attend the performances. “They sang with us and remembered those moments from the past,” Mr. Charles stated.
Christmas favorites played during the recitals include “Gloria in Excelsius Deo,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” “Silent Night” and “Oh Holy Night.” Several band members also gave vocal accompaniment to some songs.