NYOJ students get US scholarship

Saturday, July 23, 2016

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FOUR National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) students recently left the island to represent Jamaica for four weeks at the prestigious Luzerne Music Centre, Lake Luzerne in New York. The camp ends on August 13.

The students — Ian Crossborne, Kamoy Gordon, Kymani Calder, and Devoy Ellis — were among hundreds who auditioned for the camp.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet other musicians from around the world and also to exchange different cultures and feelings through music, which is our common language," said Calder, who is a trombonist.

Crossbourne echoed similar sentiments.

"I think it’s a great opportunity, as a young musician who just started playing my instrument about four years ago. I might not have a personal teacher, but I have made wonderful progress along the way and I’m really looking forward to working with a professional trumpeter because I hear he is wonderful and I think I’ll learn a lot and come back to Jamaica a better trumpeter," he said.

The Luzerne Music Center (LMC) runs a summer music programme and performing arts centre where pre-college students who play strings, piano, brass, woodwind or percussion instruments live in residence at the camp, study music with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and perform concerts for eight weeks of the summer.

NYOJ is a non-profit, non-government organisation driven by its mission to develop youth orchestras in Jamaica using classical music as a tool to inspire, empower and enhance the lives of at-risk youth. Through the provision of structured classical music training and instruction, the programme aims to instil core values such as discipline, perseverance and cooperation, and to foster the emotional and intellectual development of the students.

The NYOJ began operations six years ago at St Andrew Technical High School and has since expanded to include six centres throughout Kingston, St Andrew and Spanish Town, operating six days a week with over 200 students registered from 28 different schools.

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