8th Community Band Season opens with support from Sean Paul Foundation

April 30, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea

via jamaicaobserver.com

The respected Alpha Community Band kicked off its 8th season of performances on Sunday, April 28 at the vibrant Kingston Creative’s downtown Artwalk.

The season is made possible due to a generous contribution from The Sean Paul Foundation.

Organisers said the performances promise a diverse array of musical genres, often featuring delightful surprises for the audience.

Under the expert guidance of band directors Peter Ashbourne and Leon Ince, the Alpha Community Band provides a unique platform for musicians of all skill levels and backgrounds to unite and learn, practise, and perform music together in a one-of-a-kind environment.

Additionally, Alpha hosts a Community Band Link Up each season fostering camaraderie among band members, their families and friends.

Expressing gratitude for Sean Paul’s dedication to the Alpha programme and music education, Gay Magnus, music director at the institution, remarked: “The Alpha Community Band stands as a vital part of our vision and mission. With the support of Sean Paul, the Alpha School of Music can fulfil its goal of being a strong community asset. We are extremely grateful for his commitment.”

Launched in 2021 as part of the Community Music initiative, Magnus emphasised that the Alpha Community Band has had a positive impact on the social and cultural landscape in Kingston, stating: “The initiative has been embraced because it is not only focused on music. It works to connect musicians and community members in new ways and enriches our community and fortifies the bonds all while giving access to specialised training.”

Highlighting the symbiotic relationship between community and music development, Sean Paul shared: “I am aware of the role our Jamaican communities play in nurturing our musicians and artistes. Without the support of my community, some of the things I have achieved throughout my career would not have been possible. I have always wanted better for my community and Jamaica on a whole, which is why I wholeheartedly support the Alpha Community Band. I’m inviting everyone to join the band, whether or not you are not a musician, or simply come out and be entertained by the talent that exists there.”

The Hold My Hand artiste, through foundation, has generously donated US$6,000 towards the initiative, set to run until June.

Notably, Sean Paul has also contributed funds towards the enhancement of the Music Technology Department, including the development of new studios and rooms for skills training. Additionally, he gifted the Alpha School of Music an acoustic guitar signed by himself and fellow Grammy Award-winning artist Damian “Jr Gong” Marley.

The Alpha School of Music, which offers associate degrees in music performance and music technology, hosts a community band season each semester.

Currently comprising 25 musicians from 20 years old to retirees with abilities spanning from beginner level to seasoned professionals, the band explores a wide repertoire including pop, blues, classical as well as the vibrant rhythms of reggae, ska and other Caribbean genres.

The season culminates on June 4 with the annual Sizzlin’ Summer Concert on the Alpha grounds.

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