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Senator Belrose lauds Systems of Youth Orchestras program

By Anicia Antoine, GIS

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(GIS) — The Saint Lucia School of Music organized a showcase to celebrate the excellence of the students who participated the Systems of Youth Orchestras and Choirs program.

Richard Payne, executive director of the Saint Lucia School of Music, explained that the project, launched in July 2018, was inspired by the Venezuelan EL Sistema music education program.

“Having a sustainable orchestra program that gives talented students the opportunity for music education regardless of means, is the idea behind this initiative, and it is also in keeping with the vision of our founders, to use music as a tool for transformation,” Mr. Payne said. “The vision of the school is to transform lives. This initiative is not just about keeping students engaged to keep them out of trouble, rather, this is about teaching them real, transferrable skills that they can use in a 21st century world.”

Approximately 60 students were awarded for participating in the youth orchestra and choir program.

The minister with responsibility for Culture and Creative Industries, Sen. Hon. Fortuna Belrose, expressed gratitude to the School of Music and the Venezuelan ambassador for their support.

“Every culture has its own music. As a government we will continue to support our own. Because of the tremendous work that Richard and the team have been doing through this program, we felt it was necessary to have the students as part of our program for jazz this year,” the minister said. “The school of music is providing an excellent platform. Through that program at the School of Music we hope to showcase our youngsters across the globe.”

The Systems of Youth Orchestras and Choirs program was funded by Windsong Foundation, a US-based philanthropic organization.

 

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