The Embassy of Spain and the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at making instruction in classical music more accessible to Jamaican children.
At the MoU signing today (April 15), at the Embassy of Spain in New Kingston, the Embassy also handed over its first cheque valued at US$2,000 to the NYOJ.
The MoU establishes guidelines for future collaborative efforts, which include financial support, partnership of the NYOJ with cultural programmes supported by the Embassy, scholarship offers, workshops and seminars.
The NYOJ is a non-profit organisation started about a year ago, which is engaged in the promotion and development of youth orchestras in Jamaica. It provides structured classical music training and instruction to young people between 10 and 18 years old for participation in an orchestra. The NYOJ currently conducts orchestra training at the
Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Jesus Silva (right), explains the Embassy of Spain’s reasons for entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), aimed at providing instruction in classical music to young persons, during a signing ceremony at the Embassy on April 15. Beside the Ambassador is Chairman of the Board of the NYOJ, Dr. Nigel Clarke.
St. Andrew Technical High School, with approximately 75 students from schools in the surrounding community.
Spanish Ambassador, His Excellency Jesus Silva, said the Embassy was very pleased to be collaborating on the initiative, as it follows a model similar to one used in Spain and Venezuela. He said the Embassy was also excited to help in the development of culture among the youth and to introduce them to an art form to which they would not otherwise have been exposed.
“Some people seem to think that culture is an elite product that only very well educated and sophisticated people can have access to, and that is not true. Every day we see examples that culture can also be a very important tool for development and economic opportunities,” he emphasised.
Executive Director of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Mrs. Laleta Davis Mattis, who represented Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, praised the Embassy’s “unwavering” support for culture.
Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Jesus Silva (right) and Chairman of the Board of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), Dr. Nigel Clarke, shake hands after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at making instruction in classical music more accessible to Jamaican children, at the Embassy of Spain on April 15.
“The orchestra we welcome very much, because we also recognise the role and importance of music on our youth. The introduction of the orchestra to Jamaica is yet another emphasis from the Embassy on the non-traditional approach to music and culture in Jamaica. What would normally have been accessible only to certain classes of Jamaicans is now accessible to ordinary Jamaicans, especially our youth,” she said.
Chairman of the Board of the NYOJ, Dr. Nigel Clarke, said he was grateful for the assistance received from the Embassy of Spain and especially for its pledge to offer technical assistance to the NYOJ.
Dr. Clarke described as “surprising” the warm reception which instruction in classical music has received since classes started. “So, we take this MoU seriously and look forward to years of collaboration and co-operation,” he said.