Indonesian Governor Gives the Gift of Music to South Hill Park Arts Centre
On Sunday 21 July, Craig Titley, South Hill Park Chief Executive, welcomed the Governor of West Java, Mayor of Bogor and other distinguished guests to a special celebratory reception in the Tall Hall of the Arts Centre. The Mayor of Bracknell Town Cllr Isabel Mattick, the Deputy Mayor of Bracknell Forest Council Cllr Ash Merry and representatives from Winkfield and Crowthorne Parish Councils were amongst the guests. As a gesture of friendship to the people of the UK, the Governor of West Java, Bp. Ridwan Kamil, generously presented South Hill Park with a set of beautiful bronze gamelan degung instruments.
The new gamelan instruments were played by Ensemble Kyai Fatahillah from Bandung, directed by master musician Iwan Gunawan, who are currently on tour in the UK. The programme also included some dynamic dance performances and musicians including the renowned tembang Sunda singer Hendrawati, also from Bandung, and members of the Sekar Enggal ensemble of London, directed by Simon Cook.
Simon Cook, who co-ordinated the event commented, “Gamelan has caught on in a big way in music education outside Indonesia, because the instruments look and sound beautiful, and because they are technically easy to play. I am thrilled that the Governor of West Java and the Indonesian Embassy have generously presented these lovely instruments to South Hill Park.”
Craig Titley said, “South Hill Park is visited by over 200,000 people every year and has served the people of Bracknell for almost 50 years, providing an ever increasing range of opportunities for our community. Whether a memorable live performance experience, taking part in a community production or learning a new skill at a course or workshop, South Hill Park is the arts centre of ‘opportunity’. That is why this very generous gift is so special. Whilst we will treasure the instruments for many years to come, South Hill Park can now offer gamelan classes to the residents of Bracknell Forest and beyond.”
The reception also included food specialities from Indonesia prepared by Peas and Carrots Limited, South Hill Park’s exclusive catering company.
From September, South Hill Park Arts Centre will offer an evening course in traditional Sundanese music of West Java. The percussion instruments will be available for workshops and creative projects with local schools and the venue plans to establish a community group at South Hill Park to play the gamelan, starting with a gamelan ensemble course from Wed 25 Sept to Wed 4 Dec 7-9pm. To find out more visit southhillpark.org.uk/create