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By now, the name Alfranique Joseph has been streaming through the lengths and breaths of the twin island nation as the young and budding musician is set to join an elite international group in the 2024 class of the OAcademy.
The OAcademy Music Conservatory was created to reinvent the relationship between music education and the demands of the real world. OAcademy’s unique approach harnesses the power of peer learning — empowering a Juilliard student in New York and a rising musician in Haiti to collaborate side-by-side in masterclasses with top international artists.
Their approach connects global perspectives with local homes — enabling an orchestral class with a leading conductor, a virtuoso workshop with a violin superstar, and an improvisatory masterclass with a Grammy-winning jazz legend to occur within the same week of digital learning for fellows.
Joseph will now become one of the thousands of musicians who have been granted the opportunity to be apart of this program.
She is in fact, the first Antiguan and Barbudan to do so.
“Classical music isn’t really that prominent in Antigua so, I am hoping that it shows people that you can do anything and that it probably brings some more interest into Classical music into our community,” Joseph shared.
Joseph is no stranger to the world of music having started her journey at only eight years old with the piano. She then, over the years, mastered other instruments like the violin and later became a member of the Antigua Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra where she is presently the concert master and head of strings.
“Being apart of ABYSO has definitely let me garner some leadership skills and definitely taught me about discipline and so, I would encourage anyone who is interested in these types of things to just go for it. You never know where it can take you. Be confident about it and have fun with it,” she said.
The 23-year-old also holds a BA in Music from the University of the Southern Caribbean and now teaches Music and English at the St. Mary’s Secondary School.
Looking back, she revealed that she was a bit apprehensive about signing up but was elated when she received her acceptance letter.
“So, I was actually introduced to this organization by Her Excellency Karen Mae Hill and I was very nervous about it because these are professional musicians but I was like, you know, it’s worth the shot. I did some auditions, I had to send in two different pieces to audition for this program and when I got the email that said I was accepted I was the over the moon,” Joseph explained.
“I was rejoicing, I was really happy to be accepted in an organization like this. I am beyond excited. I can’t really believe it. I am just looking forward to all of the experiences I am going to get, all the training that I am going to get and I can’t wait to use whatever I learn and bring it back here,” she added.
The fellowship which is already underway will culminate on June 30th and will see the Antigua Girls High School alumni participate in high-level performance training from world-class mentors. Alongside the digital cirriculum, Joseph will travel to either the US or Mexico for a week-long residency.