Simons Brothers spread musical message
A trio of musical brothers have launched a schools programme to help to keep Bermuda’s entertainment traditions alive.
The Simons Brothers — Jonathan, 18, Solomon, 16 and Leo, 12 — aim to visit nine primary schools and kicked off at the Gilbert Institute in Paget last week.
Jonathan said: “The model is youth inspiring youth through musicianship. We are encouraging children to take up music and showing them the benefits of learning a musical instrument.
“We want to show them what music has done for us and what music can do for them.
“We talked about not quitting and told them how we have been at it for years, how we are travelling and meeting people. This can happen for them.
“It is important as music has fallen off the radar in Bermuda. People used to perform everywhere at the ferries and bus stops — now musicians are placed last.”
He was speaking after the group performed and gave a presentation at the Gilbert Institute last week.
The brothers performed several of their songs at the school assembly, showed a video that charted their career and gave a talk followed by questions from the pupils.
Jonathan said: “The children stood up and clapped along and they were dancing, it was great.
“We presented the school with a poster, which has coupons for musical instruments and music lessons.
“We are also trying to provide each school with instruments they need for their music programme, so we’re raising funds through sponsors to make a donation.
“We are hoping to do a presentation for that in the next school year.”
The schools programme, created with the help of their musical parents Ondre and Winelle, was designed to encourage young people to learn an instrument.
The brothers were encouraged to play music from a very young age by their parents and released Breakthrough, their first album, in February.
The Simons Brothers have made a name for themselves at home and abroad.
They toured Panama at the end of the last year and performed on the main stage at the America’s Cup village in 2017.
Suzette Cheeseman, the acting principal of the Gilbert Institute, said the pupils enjoyed the brothers’ visit.
She added: “Some of the parents came and were blown away and really impressed with the assembly.
“The students asked if they could get up and dance. It was definitely inspiring and our students could relate.
“Gilbert has guitar and drum lessons for our primary four and five students so we try to tell them ‘you never know, if you continue with these lessons, look what you could end up doing’.”