JIS News

He emerged from adversity to become an outstanding music talent and hopes one day, to be named the musical director for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).It is in pursuit of his dream, that Sergeant Albert Hird is perfecting his musical and conducting talents at the Royal Military Academy of Music in London.
“I am here (London) on a student bandmaster course, studying to be a bandmaster and I hope to one day in the future, take over . the Jamaica Military Band,” he told JIS News.
In addition to serving with the military band, Sergeant Albert Hird has also worked with the Philharmonic Orchestra as principal flutist, the Jamaica National Choral, the Jamaica Orchestra for Youth, the National Dance Theatre Company, the Jamaica Musical Theatre, the Little People Association as well as the St. Andrew and St. Jude’s singers.
Sergeant Hird, whose ultimate goal is to become the JDF’s director of music, is unfazed by what some would see as a difficult journey from a three-year old placed in an orphanage to a successful career in music.
He grew up with four brothers at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home and developed his musical talent at the Alpha Boy’s School and later at the Edna Manley College.
He notes that while it was difficult growing up without parents, he was encouraged by his brothers, who supported his dream of becoming a musician.
Sergeant Hird recalls that it was his brother, Patrick, who encouraged him to join the JDF. “After I completed my studies at the Edna Manley College in the music department, I knew that I needed a job. I was offered a scholarship to go to the United States to do further music studies and it was there that I developed an interest in conducting. After I completed studies in the States, I went straight to the army in 1988, just before Hurricane Gilbert”.
He played the bassoon in the army and later received a scholarship from the JDF to study the clarinet in the United Kingdom and was named outstanding overseas musician for the year.
“I successfully completed the grade eight of the Royal School of Music with distinction and I started to push myself forward as I saw this as a door towards my goal and to further developed my love and gift for conducting. I was given the baton to conduct while studying here (in London) in 1998,” he boasts to JIS News.
On returning to Jamaica, he says, “I realised that I wanted to come back here for more training and made my wish known to the JDF”. It was however several more years before that wish came true.
He informs that at the end of the three-year course, “you get a bandmaster certificate from the Ministry of Defence and a bachelors of musical with honours from Kingston University. I have just completed my second year successfully with a B plus, and I feel very proud”.
“I have become a better person since I have been here and administrative-wise and in terms of leadership, this will help me to develop within the JDF,” he tells JIS News.
Sergeant Hird acknowledges the support of his wife of 15 years, Andrea and his sons Kemar and Adrian.
He is also looking forward to returning to the JDF and perhaps taking over the leadership of one of the bands. He is keen to see more young people with musical talent enlisting in the JDF.

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