Sunday 15 December, 2019

Rita Marley Foundation aims to teach the youth through music

Bongo Herman and students doing the ska at a Rita Marley Foundation music workshop held at Edith Dalton James High School in St Andrew last week.

Bongo Herman and students doing the ska at a Rita Marley Foundation music workshop held at Edith Dalton James High School in St Andrew last week.

The Rita Marley Foundation(JA) last week hosted a music workshop for grade 10-11 students at Edith Dalton James High School in St Andrew, as part of an initiative by the Foundation to 'teach the youth through music'.

The workshop instructor was master percussionist, Herman 'Bongo' Davis, who from start to end oversaw a highly-energetic session with all participants actively engaged.

"(The students) jotted notes and willingly took part in practical training. The high schoolers learned to play a variety of instruments; including, percussion, cow bell, wa wa, tambourine and chimney," said the Rita Marley Foundation in a press release, adding that the participants "...also showcased impressive vocal and dance skills."

Music students at Edith Dalton High with Rosemary Duncan, manager at the Rita Marley Foundation.

The workshop is among a number of activities initiated by the Foundation to provide valuable lessons to children through music.

Earlier this year, the Foundation launched its inaugural Song Writing Competition for high schoolers. The theme, selected by Dr Rita Marley was 'Strong Black Women & Their Role in History'.

At the launch of the competition, Rosemary Duncan, manager at the Rita Marley Foundation, stated “Songwriting is an important skill and talent. Adding to that, it is a lucrative career that is in growing demand globally.

"Therefore, the Rita Marley Foundation is honoured to have conceptualised this activity," she said, noting that the Foundation enlisted expert producer/musician Asley 'Grub' Cooper, producer/composer of Rita Marley's mega hits One Draw and Harambe, to create a musically sound tune, with the winning entry.

Ardenne High School's Afaya Pollack took the top prize with her piece which listed women from Africa and the diaspora who have made historic contributions in various fields.

The top three finalists in the competition are currently in the studio recording, according to Cooper.

"It is a positive reggae song on a one drop rhythm, with a touch of nyabinghi," he said in the release.

"It's about women who have contributed through arts, philosophy, human rights. Such as Winnie Mandela, Rosa Parks, Rita Marley. The song is both danceable and listenable. Everyone will love it."

The Rita Marley Foundation also provides music lessons for students, ages 5-6, at Holy Trinity Basic School, with Cooper and Simone Kenny conducting training in percussion, recorder, maracas, clave and vocals.

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