Spanish-Jamaican Foundation Donates Drums to Alpha Institute

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica and Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) President, His Excellency Aníbal Jiménez Abascal (3rd right), tries out one of the two drums valued at approximately $94, 300 presented to the Alpha Institute for Boys in Kingston recently. Others (from left) are: second year student at Alpha, Rochard Henry; Sister Peggy Verstege; Spanish saxophonist, Ángel Soria Díaz; SJF General Manager, Karen Donaldson; and Administrator, Alpha Institute, Margaret Little Wilson.

Story Highlights

  • The music programme at the Alpha Institute for Boys in Kingston has been boosted with the donation of two drums, valued at $94,300 by the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF).
  • The donation, which came out of discussions between SJF’s General Manager, Karen Donaldson, and Special Projects Director at Alpha, Joshua Chamberlain, will advance the school’s marching band programme.
  • The 137-year old Alpha Institute caters to 130 young men, ages 16 to 18 years, who are currently enrolled in the school’s five training programmes.

The music programme at the Alpha Institute for Boys in Kingston has been boosted with the donation of two drums, valued at $94,300 by the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF).

The donation, which came out of discussions between SJF’s General Manager, Karen Donaldson, and Special Projects Director at Alpha, Joshua Chamberlain, will advance the school’s marching band programme.

SJF’s President and Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Aníbal Jiménez Abascal, who handed over the drums at the institution’s South Camp Road campus recently, noted that Alpha has a rich musical legacy.

He pointed to the notable contributions of its many past students to the development of music locally and internationally.

“But the Alpha is not only (about) music… (but) also the assistance it offers to …the students that will help you to become future professionals,” he added.

Ambassador Abascal, who was accompanied by Deputy Head of Mission, Carmen Rives, gave the Embassy’s undertaking to strengthen collaboration with the institution.

He also encouraged the administration to forge partnerships with other diplomatic missions in Jamaica, which would redound to Alpha’s benefit.

Alpha’s Administrator, Margaret Little Wilson, in expressing gratitude, said the school welcomes any support towards its growth and development.  The “doors and gates are open to you anytime,” she said.

For his part, Mr. Chamberlain noted that the marching band programme is seen as a direct link to employment, pointing out that “many students picture marching and the Jamaica Military Band as an opportunity (for a career).”

“So, it’s going to be a direct way to make a transition from school to work…(and) that is a very important piece of the Alpha curriculum…(so) many thanks to the Embassy of Spain for this initiative, and to the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation,” he added.

Ms. Donaldson, who was also on hand for the presentation, said she is impressed with the programmes at Alpha, and commended the administration and teachers on the “tremendous job” in the holistic development of the students.

The 137-year old Alpha Institute caters to 130 young men, ages 16 to 18 years, who are currently enrolled in the school’s five training programmes.

In addition to music, the other areas are woodworking, screen printing, landscaping, and barbering.

A sixth programme, music technology, is currently being developed for implementation.

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