Alpha raises funds for studio

Thursday, April 24, 2014    

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ORGANISERS of Spain's annual Rototom Sunsplash are among 99 donors who came to Alpha Boys' School's assistance in their bid to construct a radio on-air/recording facility for the music school in Kingston.

Pledges amounting to US$23,170 were received through a kickstarter campaign which was launched in February and closed on April 7. The target was surpassed by US$170.

Kickstarter, an on-line crowdfunding platform, is the world's largest for creative projects.

"Rototom Sunsplash organisers gave a substantial donation," said Joshua Chamberlain, a director of the Alpha Boys' School. He, however, declined to give the amount.

Rototom Sunsplash is an annual reggae summer festival held in Benicassim, a few miles north of Valencia in Spain. It draws more than 100,000 people from 120 different nationalities.

Chamberlain thanked all the donors whom, he said, pooled their resources to make the project a success.

"I had never done something like that before, but it was extremely well received," he said, while lauding Reggae Poster organisers and Yellowman, who "came in and did some original stuff".

According to the director, students will be taught the business of music marketing, training in radio and have the ability to go live on air.

The Alpha Boys' School, which receives government funding, has been in the news recently. Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna announced that "predatory behaviour" by some students will result in the closure of its residential facilities. Its music programme, which has nurtured some of Jamaica's great musicians, is intact.

The director said he expects the facility's construction to be completed by summer.

"We are working on finalising the plans, we will be sharing the plans first with those who donated," he said.

"We are shooting for a June/July completion date. When the school year starts in September, we'll have the studio up and running,"

he continued.

With the support of Seton Hall University, and WXGR Radio in the USA, the school has started to acquire the equipment necessary for live broadcasting.

Looking at the long-term goal, Chamberlain said it's part of a plan to introduce 21st century job opportunities.

"Music is essential and always will be at Alpha," he said.





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