Primary School Music Competitions take place every year in Uganda, and each year Arlington Academy of Hope eagerly participates. However, 2010 was a miraculous year for AAH because it finally reached its ultimate goal and qualified for the NATIONAL level! This was an enormous success for Arlington Academy of Hope because it had been a long journey since the choir began competing in 2004. This is a National Education program on the Uganda National Curriculum and is one way of promoting students’ talents.
For Arlington Academy of Hope the success was two-fold; first of all, getting to such a height raises the bar of excellence, but secondly, and most important, the competitions helped AAH students gain important self-esteem. AAH, as a model school, is striving to encourage all children that they can be anything- no matter their background. Therefore, to all the students/children of Bududa in particular, this was a great inspiration. AAH made it through four levels of competition: zonal, district, regional, and finally competed in nationals. These competitions were held as an elimination system. The competition began in late July with the zonal competition at Bumwalye. Arlington emerged in first place out of 13 schools and then went on to the district finals in Bududa the following week.
Again, AAH placed first and in early August the students and faculty traveled to Kapchorwa to represent the District at the regional competition.
At the regional level, Arlington placed third, and the top three schools advanced to nationals in Kampala. This year students worked so hard to reach the top level. They trained morning and evening and this hard work paid off when Arlington represented all of Bududa District at the National Theatre in Kampala. The five-day national competition began on August 17th and concluded on the 21st.
Arlington performed different pieces, including: drama, poem, speech, original song and dance, traditional song, Western folk song, instrumental and sight reading. After a week of intense competition, Arlington took
thirteenth place! One AAH student, Natseli Godfrey, P5, received an award at nationals for “Best Lead Soloist” in the folk song! He did a wonderful job, as did the whole Arlington choir. The students and teachers were all so excited and proud of their hard work. Arlington Academy of Hope has a long history of surpassing expectations and proving that nothing is every out of reach for AAH students.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and all were thrilled to reach Kampala, a first for many! However, Arlington staff and students could not have done all of this without the help and support of the sponsors who contributed the funds necessary to take the program as far as Kampala. As one can imagine, a large amount of money was required to take all the choir members and staff to Kampala for the competition- including funds for bus transportation, accommodations, food and other expenses. Therefore, this journey would not have been possible with the help of all the US sponsors and AAH Board. Thank you all for funding the music program at Arlington. It was such a proud moment to represent the whole Bududa District in Kampala. Arlington Academy of Hope has an outstanding music program, thanks to the hard work from the teachers and students, and the generous funding from the U.S.