I have been approached many times regarding arranging or writing for a marching band. I have been very reluctant to do so since I do not believe that we should consider that “rigorous military underlining” for music, specially in our culture. For example, I do not think that the anthem of Haiti, my Motherland, reflects and reveals the soul of our culture, belief and traditions. So, for most Haitian peasants not to know their national anthem has nothing to do with illiteracy, but rather with that strong missing link that unifies all segments of the Haitian population–our own identity. That identity is being lost with the education offered by foreign institutions that were in charge of education, and the importance of “ruling” the Haitians despite the independence of Haiti. Once must not forget this accrued pressure of acculturation that crushes constantly traditions for the “development” or “modernization” or “westernization” of countries that were former colonies, or dependent of technology for the progress of their peoples.
That piece below entitled “Kote moun yo”, which is a well known Haitian folk song has been arranged for a marching band with the following instrumentation: 3 flutes, 3 clarinets, 2 alto saxes, 3 tenor saxes, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 tubas and a drum set.
Once again, it is an illustration of the “natif” concept and I’m very proud that I can show the beauty of our music and the sophistication of the possibilities offered in the area of musical arrangement.
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