PHILIPSBURG–When Hurricane Irma was battering St. Maarten with record-breaking winds, pacing in their living room full of nervous energy in Holland, feeling helpless and powerless to do anything but watch and see the destruction unfold were National Institute of Arts (NIA) “artiste in residence” Ernesto Arrindell and his wife Christel Klein. Immediately after the hurricane, they proceeded to rally several companies and supporters of the arts to amass musical and percussion equipment to bring to St. Maarten for NIA’s Art Heals programme.
When the winds finally died down and the full scope of the catastrophe was revealed, Arrindell and Klein were motivated to mobilise themselves and see how they could assist.
“I told Christel: ‘We have to do something,’ I just couldn’t sit and do nothing,” said Arrindell as he told about the tension he had been under while watching the disaster unfold.
Arrindell and Klein travel the world as performing artistes. Sound story-teller Arrindell and his assistant Klein have been travelling to St. Maarten year after year conducting workshops in schools with NIA as part of the Institute’s in-school and after-school programmes.
Receiving musical instruments from Staggerbush in Groningen, Bax Music in Goes, Van der Glas in Heerenveen and Terpstra Drum Land in Lijnden, the duo travelled to St. Maarten to deliver more than 250 musical and percussion instruments to the benefit of the children of St. Maarten.
NIA extended its heartfelt gratitude to all the donors. “We can’t begin to even express the level of our gratitude,” said Co-Director Arlene Halley on seeing the bonanza they received for the school’s musical programme. “We are grateful to Christel and Ernesto, who took it upon themselves to initiate this drive and to bear the burden of the cost to bring these musical instruments to St. Maarten.”
The equipment will be become part of Art Heals and will be used in the classes conducted by Arrindell and Klein.
Arrindell will be conducting drum workshops February through March, designed as music therapy to combat some of the stresses brought about by the hurricane and its aftermath. A schedule will be made available on NIA’s Facebook page.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73144-national-institute-of-arts-gets-musical-instruments