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Home | Culture Division launches 5th Semester of Music Schools in the Community and Cultural Camps

Culture Division launches 5th Semester of Music Schools in the Community and Cultural Camps


Dr The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts delivers the feature address at the launch.

The Culture Division of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts formally launched its Music Schools in the Community programme and Cultural Camps in a ceremony at the May Johnston Room, Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on Wednesday June 29, 2016.

Cultural Programme Co-ordinator, Jaime Bagoo welcomed all to the event, emphasizing the positive response from members of the public to both programmes.  She noted that over one thousand participants had graduated from the Music Schools in the Community programme, with over 15,000 persons participating in the Cultural Camps at 136 venues across the country.

Director of the Culture Division, Ingrid Ryan-Ruben hailed the Music Schools in the Community Programme and the Cultural Camps as opportunities to learn, emphasizing the fact that the work must continue beyond the life of the camps.

Ewart Johnston, Executive Member of the Sangre Grande Cordettes Steel Orchestra and Wendy Ann Primus, Manager of Wenz and Frenz Cultural Camp in St James, each gave testimonies of the positive impact of each programme on the communities that they serve.

In delivering the feature address, Dr The Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, said both these programmes “demonstrate our emphasis on the role which culture plays in national sustainable development.”   She said it will also allow the transfer of knowledge through the music schools and cultural camps. 

This year’s Music Schools in the Community programme started on June 20 and will run until September 10, 2016.   The Cultural Camps will be held for four weeks from July to August.

About Music Schools in the Community: “Changing Lives through Music Education”

The Music Schools in the Community is a music education programme offered by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts at no charge to participants.  The programme, which was inaugurated in 2012, is now in its 5th year and focuses on music literacy and instrument performance on the steelpan, alto, tenor, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, clarinet and the acoustic guitar.

In 2014, the programme was expanded to include Youth Correctional Institutions including the St Michael’s School for Boys, the St Mary’s Children’s Home and the Amarjyoth Sabha Mandir in Cunupia, where a curriculum on East Indian music was developed.

About Cultural Camps: “Shaping the Cultural Citizen for the Future”

Cultural Camps create safe spaces, where young people can learn a variety of art forms and life skills, to build cultural confidence and a sense of national pride.  These camps allow participants to interact with creative elders in the community to continue traditions.   Each camps hosts 50 participants and cover wide range of topics related to the arts and local heritage including: performing arts (dance, drama and music); literary arts and visual arts.

They are usually held during the Easter break (two weeks in April) and during the July-August vacation period for four weeks.  The camps are open to children between the ages of 9 to 17 years.

Technical Camps are the next step in the Cultural Camps experience and are open to participants from 18 to 65 years of age, some of whom are graduates of the Cultural Camps.  These intensive workshops focus on technical support areas and specific professional skill sets for those with prior knowledge of the areas being taught.


Seated are: Minister Gadsby-Dolly (centre), Ingrid Ryan-Ruben, Director, Culture Division (right) and Jaime Bagoo, Cultural Programme Co-ordinator (left), along with facilitators of this year’s Music Schools in the Community Programme and Cultural Camps

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