Last Sunday, June 14 the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) celebrated the achievements of the graduates of its latest Beginners Steelpan, Guitar and Voice Training workshops, at a small ceremony held at its Dance Studio, West Terrace, St. James, in the presence of their families and friends.
The graduation ceremony was a culmination of a twelve-week journey which began with over 60 students and saw 53 of the most committed and dedicated proudly showcasing their newly acquired talents.
Cultural Officer – Music, Mr. Ronald Davis said that the three workshops catered to a wide range of participants between the ages 7 and 70. Davis noted that these training sessions were designed to teach the rudiments of guitar, steelpan and voice to interested persons on their road to the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA). The workshops also act as motivators to encourage students to form their own community groups, while contributing to the further development of our cultural industries through music.
The NCF’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Cranston Browne, who addressed the audience in attendance at the evening’s celebrations, congratulated the graduates for staying the course and for attaining this level of proficiency.
In commenting on the Foundation’s role as the statutory body charged with the development of culture in Barbados, he remarked that the improvement of the arts was at the core of its programmes and through the facilitation of workshops like these, the organisation has been able to unearth and nurture a wealth of talent domicile in these 166 square miles, contributing to the growth of the music discipline on the island.
Mr. Browne went on to say that the cultural industries continue to be one of the fastest growing sectors globally and that the music industry specifically, represents a significant portion of this sector. With the ease of access to locally produced content, music has become the region’s segue into this now shrinking global community. As a region our ability to compete in this industry is broadening, due to the increasing popularity of our music and with more and more of our entertainers taking to international stages.
As the Foundation strives to keep the musical culture aflame, Mr. Browne urged the graduates to continue to enhance the skills that they have acquired, in the knowledge that this burgeoning market may open up opportunities for them not only locally but perhaps even on the world stage. He also encouraged them to persevere in their quest for excellence and to become great musicians.
The Steelpan workshop was held at the Parkinson Memorial School, the Guitar workshop was conducted in the NCF Training Room and the Voice Training Sessions were hosted at Queen’s Park Steel Shed.
Persons interested in participating in any of the NCF’s music workshops or those wishing to become involved in contributing to the development of the music discipline in Barbados are asked to contact Mr. Ronald Davis at the National Cultural Foundation.