Digicel Foundation’s generous support upgrades the programme to a full orchestra
Wednesday November 3rd, 2010 – Kingston, Jamaica: The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica is staging a fundraising concert in aid of the development of youths and their classical music talents on Sunday, November 7th at 4:00 pm. The event will be held at the Stella Maris Church Hall and will feature performances from the NYOJ instructors and friends, as well as special selections from the students. Tickets are on sale at Music Mart and the Edna Manley School of Music Office for $1,000.
Created as an OAS anti-crime initiative, the programme’s goal is to decrease violence and criminal behaviour by redirecting at-risk youth’s spare time. It models the El Sistema programme in Venezuela – started by Dr. José Antonio Abreu – which over the past 30 years, has received worldwide acclaim. It has had a transformational and social impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor, young Venezuelans.
“The NYOJ is very grateful for all the fantastic support we have received,” shared Dr. Nigel Clarke, Chairman of the NYOJ. “We want people to come out and support this great cause that will continue to see these children and youths receive a unique opportunity to develop skills they typically would not have access to,” he said.
“The Digicel Foundation aims to empower our people and our communities and through the NYOJ programme, we feel we are able to do just that,” commented Major General Robert Neish, Executive Director of Digicel Foundation. “We are impressed by the NYOJ’s programme structure and we are enthusiastic to see the positive impact of this programme on the lives of the many youths of inner-city communities.”
Launched in 2009, the NYOJ is a non-profit organisation, which initially had a sole focus on string instruction. “When we began, we only had a string section, but the Digicel Foundation donated 30 woodwind, brass and percussion instruments which allowed us to upgrade to a full orchestra,” shared Michelle Braham, Executive Coordinator of NYOJ.
Based at the St. Andrew Technical High School on Spanish Town Road in Kingston, the NYOJ has approximately 80 youths enrolled in the programme, with daily training sessions. These students attend schools in the surrounding communities of St. Alban’s Primary, St. Andrew Primary & Technical High, Denham Town Primary & Comprehensive High and Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High Schools.