Published on Saturday, 23 October 2010 10:01
Written by Bruce Gale
When Joe Darion wrote the lyrics to the famous melody written by Mitch Leigh for the 1965 hit musical Man of La Mancha, I don't suppose he spent much time thinking about the ambitions of E flat tuba players.
But somehow the words seem to fit:
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
Unlike Don Quixote, the musical's central character, however, the quest facing BBJ (Medan Band) tuba player Lasnointer Marbun is neither farcical nor pointless. Lasnointer hopes to study music at Singapore's Nanyang College of Fine Arts (NAFA) next year. He has both the talent and the tenacity to make the grade, but not the money.
Rejected by his poverty stricken parents soon after he was born, Lasnointer was passed from relative to relative until he ended up in the Salvation Army's William Booth Boys Home in Medan, Indonesia. I am appealing for a sponsor to help him realise his dream. In other words, to change the “impossible” to “possible”.
This is not some sob story.
But this appeal is not based on some sob story. It is grounded instead the young man's talent. Without the benefit of regular lessons (I am based in Singapore), or the opportunity to hear performances by professional ensembles, Lasnointer has achieved the highest standard of musical excellence I have heard in my 23 years of teaching BBJ.
Entry to NAFA is first and foremost by audition. In Medan, these auditions will be held in February 2011. But since Lasnointer is already playing grade 8 music (ABRSM), I am confident that he will be accepted.
Unfortunately, the money involved is substantial. NAFA, without question the best music school in Southeast Asia, charges S$16,500 (US$12,800) a year in fees for its three-year diploma course. And that figure does not include other associated costs, including the cost of living (the Singapore government does not allow foreign students to work while they are in the country).
The reality is that I do not have the financial means to make Lasnointer's dream come true.
The analytical tools I use to track the traffic on this website show that it is visited by netizens from all over the world. Surely there is someone out there who might be able to help. You can get more background information by reading Scaling the Heights in the Medan Band section of this website.
If you think you can make a difference, or you believe you know somebody who can, click on the “contact us” link at the top of this web page and send me an email.