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“I’m a HERO” Program and the Venova

Bringing the power of music to the children of Colombia.

The life-changing power of music all over the world is well documented. A case in point was a recent program sponsored by Yamaha called “I’m a HERO,” designed to allow the children of the Republic of Colombia to discover the strength within themselves to face and overcome barriers such as social inequality, poverty, delinquency and crime.

The program culminated on Sept. 30, 2018, at Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex in Medellín, Colombia, when 26 children, aged 7 to 13, performed the Colombian national anthem on Yamaha Venova casual wind instruments prior to the Categoría Primera A soccer match. All were members of the Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín youth orchestra or part of the local Yamaha scholarship program ToKANDO.

A group of children playing musical instruments.

Their performance fulfilled the “I’m a HERO” program’s noteworthy message: “With an instrument in hand, you become a hero.” Undoubtedly, the experience of performing in front of a huge crowd and receiving thunderous applause gave the children confidence, strength and a sense of purpose that will last throughout their lives.

Two months later, Yamaha released a moving Spanish-language documentary about the program. It begins with the students receiving Venova instruments and ends with their rousing performance at the soccer match. Also included are interviews with some of the students and their parents, showcasing the powerful and transformative impact of the program on the participating children.

The genesis of the “I’m a HERO” program actually began more than a century ago, with the establishment of a treaty that created a diplomatic relationship between Japan and Colombia. Yamaha has worked with youth orchestras and bands in Colombia for many years and found that groups often had no knowledge of instrument care. This led to the formation of the AMIGO Project in 2014, through which Yamaha offered workshops and training on instrument maintenance and repair, while continuing to search for a better solution with the development of new instruments.

Enter the Venova. For more than 20 years, Yamaha designers investigated creating an instrument with a simple structure that could reproduce the complex tonal quality of the saxophone. The Venova fulfills that goal. It features a branched pipe structure and meandering pipe design, yet is durable, versatile and low-maintenance. Made from ABS resin, the instrument can deliver everything from delicate melodies to blasting notes. Most importantly, it’s affordable and has the potential to bring the joy of music making to children around the world.

Check out these related blog articles:

Introducing Venova

Venova: How Can a Plastic Tube Sound Like a Saxophone?

My Venova Impressions


Click here for more information about the “I’m a Hero” Project.

Click here for more information about Yamaha Venova.

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