The Calgary Stampede Showband, currently in Brazil preparing to compete in the 2014 World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) championships, took a break from rehearsing today to spend some time volunteering at a local school for underprivileged children in Atibaia City. Portal do Saber – Portal of Knowledge – is a private school and does not receive any funding other than what the students pay; approximately 70% of students attending the school pay little or nothing for the high level of education they receive there. 100% of the funds raised for the school go toward hiring the very best teachers. Other staff, including administration and maintenance, are volunteers. Building upkeep comes only with donations and the help of volunteers and this is where the Showband comes in!
Showband members spent the morning painting buildings and classrooms, gardening, landscaping, and hanging doors, among other tasks. Some of the walls in the school had not been painted since the school first opened, more than 10 years ago. The Showband also donated the paint and other supplies for the work done today. Volunteer principal Vivian said that renovations like this bring motivation and excitement for the students and the staff. The school’s volunteers have a profound passion for education; Vivian expressed, “I don’t care about not being paid. It’s about seeing a student grow and develop a passion for learning.”
The Showband also had the opportunity to give a brief performance for hundreds of local children. Members performed some hometown favourites and had the chance to interact and share their love of music and performance with the students. The Brazilian children had a great time – many asked for autographs and took selfies with Showband members!This weekend, the Showband will compete in pursuit of its fifth (and third consecutive!) world title. Check out more photos of the Showband’s volunteerism on their Facebook page, read more about the WAMSB competition here, and follow their adventures in Brazil on Twitter, and Instagram using @ShowbandCS and #wamsb.