As preparations advance for the 5th Anniversary Edition of Playing to Inspire concert this coming weekend, put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, special musical guests the Kanneh-Mason family paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on Tuesday.
Accompanied by Chairperson of the Board of Directors of ABYSO, High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill, the Prime Minister was introduced to special guests for the concert on Saturday 22nd April, British Conductor Tom Fetherstonhaugh, Junior ABYSO Conductor Sophie Biddell and International Saxophonist Jess Gillam who played for Prime Minister Browne during the visit.
The Prime Minister was also introduced to a group of musicians from the Dominican Republic who will also be special guests at the concert on Saturday.
Prime Minister Browne stated that he was pleased with the progress of ABYSO and commended the Kanneh-Masons for their efforts in building capacity and helping to develop the youth of Antigua and Barbuda through music.
“It is proven that classical music adds to the life of individuals, and I am of the opinion that our youth in the future will be of a better caliber in terms of their education and skills background.
Through the ABYSO programme they have had significant exposure in creative arts through classical music. We all know that persons involved in classical music generally outperform their peers,” said Prime Minister Browne.
In commending High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill for her role in developing ABYSO and its programmes and concerts, Prime Minister said that her work is a model for service to country and thanked her for exposing Antigua and Barbuda’s youth to a bevy of international musicians and experts and pledged his continued support for ABYSO.
“My government is on a drive to have a strong push in a comprehensive programme in the creative arts and its our intention to advance these programmes in our schools and expose our students to different genres of music,” said Prime Minister Browne.
The country’s Prime Minister also reiterated his government’s promise to provide a home for ABYSO as it is their aim to ensure that music not only contributes to the social development of young people but is also of economic value.
The ABYSO concert featuring the Kanneh-Masons and Jess Gillam will be held on April 22 at the St. John’s Pentecostal Church House of Restoration commencing at 7 pm.
The ABYSO is a not-for profit, year-round after school music programme providing quality, accessible music education, instruments, performance and mentorship opportunities to young musicians and music educators across Antigua and Barbuda.
Its programmes are designed to encourage social change, academic success, creativity, teamwork and co-operative learning among young people.