On Thursday, 25 June, over 80 students were recognised for sitting the Associated Board Royal School of Music (ABRSM) exams for the school year 2014–2015. The awards were presented at the Grenada Music Teachers Association’s (GMTA) annual music recital, which was held at the St George’s Gospel Hall located on H A Blaize Street, St George’s.
Friends, family of the students and music community were in for an exceptional treat as students who received distinctions or merits in their exams, were rewarded with the esteemed privilege of performing their piece in the recital; over 20 pieces were performed throughout the programme.
The hall was abuzz with excitement as students who sat the exams eagerly awaited their turn to receive their official certificate from London. Of particular note were the outstanding performances of the candidates currently enrolled in the Netherlands Model School Music Programme, which was implemented at the Boca Secondary School in November, 2014. The four programme candidates who took the exams secured 100% Grade 1 distinctions with their five entries.
The highlight of the evening and much-anticipated climax were the five GMTA trophies presented to students with the highest scores in piano, band instruments, string instruments, theory and overall best performance.
Godson Browne, teacher at the Boca Secondary School and in the Netherlands School Music Programme, snagged two of the top five awards. He received the Hurst Band Trophy for his winning performances on the snare drum and xylophone and also snagged the coveted Steele Plaque, for receiving highest overall score in the entire Caribbean during this year’s exams. Klye Antoine, another candidate of the Netherlands Model School Music Programme and student of the Boca Secondary School, was awarded the Branch Piano Trophy. Keiron Daniel earned the Budhlall String Trophy for his proficiency on the Violin and Shermella Lee was awarded the Roberts Theory Trophy.
Richard Strachan, Managing Director of Netherlands Insurance, sponsor of the Model School Music Programme, congratulated all the students who sat the exams and expressed his delight with the results from the Model Music Programme. “Netherlands Insurance has always expressed its support and commitment to music and the arts. It was a natural choice for our company to support the Model Music Programme, when the opportunity arose. It is also very heartening to see such excellent results arising from the programme in its first year of implementation. We are looking forward to seeing even greater results in the coming years” he said.
Music has been a CXC subject for over twenty years in Grenada with very few students taking and passing the exam. The Netherlands Insurance Model School Music Programme seeks to educate students in the proper fundamentals of music to significantly increase the number of candidates sitting and passing the exams, and to develop our home-grown talents in this art form.