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Ministry makes music students dream Big Dreams

Published: 
Monday, July 9, 2018
Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Dr Roy Cape at the 2017 Music Festival with young, aspiring musicians. PICTURE MINISTRY

The Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts’ Music Schools in the Community programme kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday, and runs for five weeks. This initiative, which provides formal musical training to students across Trinidad, is open to individuals of all ages with intermediate knowledge level of music and takes place at five locations in Trinidad.

In the north, the programme will be at Desperadoes Youth Orchestra, Port-of-Spain in steelpan; SWAHA Hindu College Sangre Grande in the tabla and harmonium; and Pan Jammers, Upper Santa Cruz in steelpan, woodwind and brass instruments. And, in the south, Siparia Deltones, will focus on steelpan, while at Golden Hands, San Fernando, the programme includes steelpan, woodwind and brass instruments.

The music schools in the community programme, first titled Music Schools in the Panyard, was launched in June 2012 in five panyards. However in 2013, the programme was re-branded Music Schools in the Community and extended to other community spaces. Since its launch, over 1,700 students have participated in the programme which has as its focus on music literacy and instrument performance. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in the Royal School of Music Theory examinations. In 2017, of the 24 students sponsored to write the Grade 1 Examination, 23 passed, with 19 obtaining Distinctions.

In 2017, to culminate the programme and to demonstrate the extraordinary talent of these students the Dream Big concert was held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (Napa). Dream Big brought together all the students, from as young four to those who have retired and always wanted to learn an instrument; they all fulfilled their dreams on the prestigious Napa stage. Each school showcased individual pieces and with the final performance of the night as a joint orchestra under the direction of Akua Leith, musical director of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO). Dream Big 2017 was an outstanding success.

In 2018, the programme, focuses on students 12 to 18 years and has been re-designed to include a scholarship programme which gives students an opportunity to further develop their skills in a community based music school, an internship programme with the NSSO and the National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) and a capacity-building programme aimed at developing the management capability of cultural and artistic community organizations and individuals.

Music Schools in the Community is focused on teaching, developing and enhancing instrument performance skills, theoretical knowledge and character development training while providing opportunities for participants to increase their personal, socially-useful and even commercially viable talent. The goal is to discover and develop the nascent talent that exists in communities and provide opportunities to make their talents sustainable.

For further information on the camps please visit cdca.gov.tt, Facebook or call 225-4024 ext.4004

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