DOE Cultural Education Introduces Student Workshops on Traditional Music, Lyrics

The Virgin Islands Department of Education’s Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education has embarked on an exciting journey to bring back the traditional music of the V.I. and the Caribbean. The division has enlisted local calypsonians to organize the first “Traditional Music and Lyrics Academy” geared toward training the next generation of calypsonians.
Interested students attending public, private and parochial schools are invited to attend workshops from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 24, in the St. Croix Educational Complex band room; and from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Charlotte Amalie High School Music Department. Workshops will continue through March 2017.
“The Virgin Islands are a potpourri of people and culture,” said Valrica Bryson, director of VIDE’s Cultural Education Division. “Thus, our goal is to give our students the much-needed exposure in learning how to sing, write and perform the traditional music of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. For School Year 2016-17, one of our goals is to bring back kaiso. We are very lucky to have four prolific musicians in Kevre Hendricks, Malvern Gumbs, Fitzroy O’Garro and Luis Ible Jr. to take the lead in this cultural venture.”
The “Traditional Music and Lyrics Academy” promises to give students in grades 3-12 an opportunity to hone and build their musical skills through singing and by using the lessons learned in language arts classrooms to create their own lyrics, according to Bryson.
A registration fee of $25 will cover T-shirts and snacks. Culminating concerts for the academy are planned on all three islands. A local professional calypso band will back up the aspiring calypsonians.
For more information, call 773-1095, ext. 7032 on St. Croix or 774-0100, ext. 2806 on St. Thomas.

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