For some band members, the trip to Georgetown was their first trip to the nation’s capital. The youths who had practiced for months for this moment felt the amounting excitement. And now, they were about to play for those dignitaries, government officials, guests, adults, youths, children and performers who filled the packed Durban Park stadium.  This was the moment they had waited for. And even to us, those who had worked, supported, and prepared the band for this moment felt the significance of this experience for these youths and what it would mean for their future.

The 83-member Band Corps fielded a contingent of 65 playing members who participated in the flag raising ceremony on the evening of May 25th. The crowd welcomed the band with enthusiastic cheers as the marching band entered the parade ground, splendidly dressed in their full ceremonial uniform. Just a few moments before, the youths, 27 females and 38 males, had marched from the Sports Complex, and along the half-mile homestretch avenue, playing and marching with instruments ringed with colorful night lights. After which they entered the crowded stadium to the cheers of onlookers, who had waited in anticipation for their performance.  As the trumpets and buglers played the melodious sounds of ‘We Want to Build’ the band marched to the rhythm of the drums and the crowd responded with excited exuberance and cheers.  Down the length of the stadium they marched, flanked by the crowded stands; then separating into their display of a figure ‘50’ to illustrate the historic occasion.

This opportunity provided a memorable experience for many who could now declare to their offspring, and others, that they were fortunate to participate in their country’s landmark celebration. Indeed, these youths could proclaim that, they were not only present for this occasion, but that they actually performed for the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese residents, visitors and well-wishers who shared in this nation’s historic moment of its 50th Independence Anniversary. It would be an experience indelibly impressed on their young minds.

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