Green Hills Academy band wows at Car Free Zone


Lance Gaskill instructs the band during the performance. /Sharon Kantengwa

Hundreds of fans ditched their usual Thursday duties, swarming the Car free Zone in the City of Kigali for a free, lunchtime performance by Green Hills Academy Jazz band.

the students display their dancing skills

The concert was part of the band’s ongoing concert tour. Dressed in their school uniforms (green and white) and others in traditional garbs (Umushanana), the band delivered a live performance, introducing the crowd to their awe-inspiring sounds and melodies.

This is the second time that the band was performing at the venue, where they had left an impression for the revelers last year.

The band left even a bigger impression this time round after spicing up their show by incorporating the traditional drums and dance with classical music.

This, according to their band instructor Lance Gaskill, was to celebrate Rwanda’s rich culture and development.

“It is important for the students to learn their culture and also be able to express their skills to the public because then it would boost their confidence. Playing classical music and the Kinyarwanda drums was a symbol of the country’s development and rich culture,” he says.

The Green Hills Academy offers music instruction from grade one to twelve as part of its curriculum and this, according to the students, is a great platform for them to discover their hobbies and promote talent, as well as expose them to different places and ideas.

the students impressed with their skills in the wind instruments

Paula Umutoni, an 11th grade student who plays clarinet instrument for the band, said that the band has improved her skills and confidence.

“I have been playing for the band for two years now. We started as beginners and didn’t know anything but now we are playing professional music. I was nervous last year but I’m now used to the crowd,” she said.

For 9th grade student and French horn player Anitola Iradukunda, playing the instruments in the public also motivates others to learn the instruments.

“Sometimes you feel nervous but then it feels good to express your talent. I have been playing the French instrument for a year now and I feel I have improved because this is a top band and I think I have improved from where I began,” she said.

The band also engaged the crowd, as they chanted and danced along.

The band’s tour continued with a show at the Wellspring Academy in Nyarutarama, and another at the National University of Rwanda auditorium in Huye.