More than 50 former students of Beulah Adventist College returned to their old school on September 13 to donate a new set of brass band instruments valued at more than $A100,000.
The students, formerly members of the school brass band, now live in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. One of them emotionally expressed how encouraging it was for him to reunite with his former school band members and to return to his old school in Tonga after more than 30 years living in Australia.
Tonga Mission president Pastor Fanueli Mataele, who is also chair of the school board, dedicated the new instruments for God’s purposes and further encouraged all former school brass band members overseas and in Tonga to continue to uplift the name of Jesus through music.
At the beginning of the academic year, Beulah Adventist College embarked on a music development project worth $A150,000 that saw the redevelopment of the school brass band, which had been silent over the past couple of decades. The project also included the integration of music into the existing school curriculum, and the engagement of a music teacher—who is also the brass band master—and a school choir mistress. Purchases of other instruments such as a piano and acoustic guitars, and basic renovations of the brass band house for music classes, were also part of the project.
“In an effort to further enhance Adventist ethos in Adventist schools in Tonga, respective schools have been encouraged to offer music and provide other related musical initiatives such as school choirs,” said Dr Elisapesi Manson, education consultant for Adventist Schools in Tonga.
“Music is influential in strengthening Adventist schools’ commitment toward the wholistic development of learners. The philosophy of Adventist education advocates music as a powerful strategy in promoting Adventist ethos in schools for it is ‘one of the most effective means of impressing the heart with spiritual truth’ (White, 1903).”