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Custom Computers Ltd. helps four students develop their musical interests

IGM Ltd. Summer Music Camp and Mentoring Programme exposes participants to the concepts of songwriting, studio recording, mastering and mixing audio tracks, and playing instruments
  • Seven-year-old Kingsway Academy student Mya Cooper was the youngest in the group. KGM LTD

Published: Aug 07, 2013

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A gift from Custom Computers Ltd. allowed four aspiring musicians with scholarships to attend Ivory Global Management (IGM) Ltd. Summer Music Camp and Mentoring Programme.

The camp exposed participants to the concepts of songwriting, studio recording, mastering and mixing audio tracks, and playing various musical instruments — including the flute, clarinet, double bass, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and piccolo.

The youngsters were also given lessons on protecting their intellectual property through copyrighting their music and giving credits to all involved in the production of their work during the camp held at St. Anne’s School, Fox Hill Road.

The 50 musical protégés, aged seven to 17, came from private and public schools in New Providence, the Family Islands and Atlanta, United States. During the week-long workshop, they collaborated to compose songs celebrating The Bahamas’ 40th anniversary of independence. They also received individualized coaching in their section of choice — rhythm or vocal.

Pia Farmer, director of Custom Computers Ltd., said that the company was glad to support the students in doing something they enjoy and that might also lead to exciting professional opportunities for them in the future.

“We promote causes like this because they allow the participants to be creative and productive and cultivate their talents with other young people,” said Farmer. “We are extremely happy to be a part of the development of the next generation of Bahamian musicians.”

Roscoe Dames, founder, and managing director of IGM Ltd., said he was impressed by how focused the students were during both their music theory and practical lessons. The participants were so committed that they usually only took a 15-minute lunch break and returned to the classroom or the studio to work.

Dames also noted that 25 percent of the campers were repeat students, and that all of the instructors — Antoine Thompson, Torriano Barrett, Mark Knowles and Ricardo Sweeting — were former students of the program who volunteered to assist the young participants.

Israel John, a ninth grade student who attends Queen’s College and a second-time camper, said his interest in jazz led him to the camp. He also wanted to enhance the knowledge imparted to him by his teacher, Adrian D’ Aguilar of The Bahamas Music Conservatory, and add to the experience he has gained as a member of the Scotiabank Symphony Orchestra.

“Before the workshop I never played Bahamian music at the workshop I got to learn it and really enjoyed it,” said Israel.

Canaan Cunningham’s sojourn into music began when he and his friends at Carmichael Primary started making up songs. This, along with his participation in the school’s music program, sparked in Canaan a greater love for the art. He later learned to play the piano and came to the workshop to develop his vocal talent. The soon-to-be Prince William High School student aspires to be a professional basketball player and is not discouraged by not having the height at this juncture in his life. He is confident he will have his music career to rely on if that goal is not realized.

Seven-year-old Kingsway Academy student Mya Cooper was the youngest in the group. She was just happy to be at the workshop to play her recorder and make new friends.

The intense workshop culminated with a concert at the St. Anne’s School Auditorium, where the students showcased their newly acquired knowledge in front of an audience of family and friends. After receiving their certificates of participation, they delighted the crowd with their talents.

The trio of David Burrows, Natasha Wells and Seth Wells performed “Summertime” from the musical, “Porgy and Bess”. Later in the program, the entire group performed three songs written by Antoine Thompson, which they titled, “In The Bahamas”, “Never Give Up” and “All the Love in the World.”

Dames told the audience it was remarkable how well the students had performed, given that the vocalists and the rhythm section had only come together one day before the concert to produce their soundtracks.

“For the first three days they practiced separately, so the fact that they played cohesively was amazing,” Dames said.

Dames and Thompson, veterans of the music industry, have worked with numerous international recording artists. They said they usually need a minimum of two to three weeks to record songs with more seasoned performers, but that the camp’s young students were extremely quick studies.

Thompson told the young musicians that their song, “In The Bahamas” has the potential to be used in a commercial and that he planned to present it to his contacts at the Ministry of Tourism.

The IGM Ltd. Summer Music Camp and Mentoring Programme was created in 2008 and has served more than 300 Bahamian students to date.

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