Step by Step: Phnom Penh Marching Band Takes Setbacks in Stride

Phnom Penh – On most days, the courtyard of Kolab Primary School is a cacophony of children at play, but on Sunday afternoons, the humid air rings with the cheery din of Phnom Penh’s only independent marching band.

On a recent Sunday, the band’s 25 members were seated on red plastic chairs or standing in the shade of a tamarind tree, rehearsing a decidedly non-traditional tune: John Williams’ “Star Wars” theme.

The cosmic composition proved challenging for the young musicians, but by breaking into small groups of like instruments, they began to work out the kinks, joking good naturedly about mishaps and missed notes.

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