Hero’s welcome for St Joseph marching band after Germany’s triumph

SJS marching band members pose with Uggah (seated centre, in grey jacket), parents, families and teachers in a photocall at KIA.

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KUCHING, July 5: St Joseph’s School (SJS) marching band, which took second place in the European Open Championship in Rastede, Germany, came home to a rousing welcome at the Kuching International Airport.

The band did Sarawak proud amid their first runner-up achievement, as they touched down to cheers and applause from enthusiastic parents, families, friends and teachers on Thursday evening.

Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and wife Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, whose granddaughter, Isabelle Sudan, 17, plays the flute in the band.

“Their success at this international event was a great honour for the state. We are indeed very proud of them. Their achievement is the final product of their hard work, sacrifice, patience, discipline, as well as the efforts of their teachers,” Uggah said when welcoming the band.

“I noticed that my granddaugther spent a lot of time practising including the whole day on weekends,” he added.

Uggah, wife Doreen and their granddaughter Isabelle, pose with the trophy.

The 68-member SJS Band finished behind Ratchasima Witthayalai Marching Band of Thailand in the marching show band category with 88 points during the “Rastede Musiktage 2019”.

According to its music director Anthony Wong Soon Yong, the SJS band was shy of 2.5 points to match the winning score of 90.5 points.

The band also received a gold medal for their Romeo and Juliet-inspired drill show titled “Star-Crosses Lovers” for scoring above 80 points.

“We really had to push them hard, as we only had six months to train. This was also impacted by the fasting month, Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya celebrations,” he said.

The event organised by the World Association of Marching Show Bands was part of the International Music Festival that took place on June 28-30.

About 70 bands took part in the competition this year including 20 bands in the marching show band category. This was considered SJS Band’s biggest international outing to date, in terms of the number of participating bands.

SJS marching band had previously won the German Open Championsip in 2013 and the US Band Association’s Yamaha Cup in 2015. — DayakDaily