The Saung Angklung Adjo is a school of music dedicated to teaching and preserving the music made by the Angklung, a traditional musical instrument native to the province of West Javal, Indonesia. The Angklung is a unique instrument made of bamboo and has 2 to 4 bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are cut in such a way as to produce a note (in octaves) and each one is a tone in the Do-Re-Mi scale.
Every afternoon at 3:30 pm, the school puts on a program where the students can perform, so the training session was about over for the day, so we left to attend the show. We were accompanied by Sam (a local member of the Branch who was our translator) and Dr. Tina, the head of the Midwife School and an absolutely delightful lady. The show, however, was also in English so it made it even better!
The school has over 500 students (ages 5 to about 20), so the select 100 or so put on absolutely fantastic show! It wasn’t all Angklung music – they had traditional Sundanese (West Java) puppetry, dance and music. But it truly was a delight and absolutely worth the time to go. (Tickets were about $5 each.) The school puts on a show every day (4 on Saturday) and uses the proceeds to support the school.
I could post a million pictures of the show (but I won’t!), because the pictures don’t really do the colorful production much justice, and my blog doesn’t allow video, so I’ll just throw a few pics up and give you a flavor of what we saw. The first part of the show was mostly the children singing, dancing and playing Angklung Mini…
The highlight of the show was actually audience participation. They handed out a one-note Angklung to each audience member and then walked us through the proper way to hold it, play it and then had us play a couple songs (“All My Loving” by the Beatles) and a few other familiar tunes.
The last part of the show the director brought out the experienced players – The Angklung Orchestra – and they really knew how to do it! They played 10 Angklung at a time – not just one like we did – wow – and they Hungarian Dance #5, Can’t Take my Eyes Off You (the Four Seasons) and the theme from Mission Impossible. Check out the You Tube video of them doing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Truly impressive.
This was a great way to spend 2 hours. We had heard about the school and program from another missionary and it was everything they promised it would be and more.