Crescent Collegiate Brazilian student Anderson de Alves Bezerra (middle) receives a brand new clarinet from a group of MUN music education students and Prof. Korona Brophy. Shown here are: front (l-r) Brophy and Robyn Stacey; back — Jennifer Hatcher, Elizabeth McNeill, Jon Hicks, Anderson and Maura McDonald.
Anderson de Alves Bezerra came to Newfoundland on Aug. 26 to attend school as part of the Newfoundland International Student Education Program.
Anderson, who hails from Ribeirao, Pernambuco, Brazil, attended school at Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown for the duration of his stay.
His host parents, Salvation Army officers, Majors Claudette and Chris Pilgrim, were thrilled to have Anderson as their student guest, along with their three other children, Brandon, Timothy and Emily. Anderson is the third student which the Pilgrims have hosted since September 2012.
As a gifted musician, Anderson was quick to make himself known to music teacher, Robert Colbourne. Colbourne teaches choral, concert band, jazz band and classroom music to junior high and high school students at Crescent Collegiate. Anderson became a member of all of the ensembles and even sang a solo, “O Holy Night” in the school’s Christmas concert. His talent was demonstrated through the flute, saxophone and clarinet.
His love of music was very evident in his music, inspiration and improvisation. His peers and teachers admired his unique and ‘awesome’ love for music, his positive demeanor and his compassion for others.
While school was progressing at Crescent, Prof. Korona Brophy at MUN, was instructing an education class for pre-internship. Through the Education 3920 course her students are able to instruct Grade 5 public school children in the instruments of the orchestra and band. This course is "one of the best to prepare these MUN students for their internship," said Brophy.
The public school children meet twice-a-week for a 45-minute group lesson on an instrument and then hold a performance for parents in December and March.
When the December performance was finished Brophy contacted Robert Colbourne to see if her MUN class could travel to Crescent Collegiate and assist in a full day of teaching.
"This was such a rewarding experience for both the MUN students and Crescent Collegiate. Robert Colbourne is an exceptional teacher and leader in his school community. It is obvious that his students admire and respect his goal in musical excellence," stated Brophy.
Anderson was introduced to the MUN students and they quickly realized that he would be returning home without any instruments. One of the students at Crescent donated her flute to him and the MUN students and friends collected $400 to buy him a clarinet, a stand and supplies.
Brophy and her MUN class met with him on Feb. 3, with his host family, the Pilgrims, and presented Anderson with his own Yamaha clarinet.
To say the least, it was quite an emotional moment for all. Anderson was very moved by the gesture and he stated "my family would not afford this and I thank you so much."
Meanwhile, Robert and his students were "skyping" to witness the generosity of the MUN class.
Anderson left with his prize for the airport to return to Brazil. Through this meeting of such a wonderful, charming and loving student, both the community of Crescent Collegiate, the Pilgrim family and MUN Education class have been enriched.