First Global Financial Services, one of Jamaica’s financial services giants, has come forward with a far-reaching new initiative called the “Build Jamaica with Music” programme. First Global Financial Services, (FGFS), officially launched this programme on Thursday May 22. Attendees at the launch were informed that a number of efforts would be initiated under the programme that will contribute to the development of young Jamaicans through good music.

First Global financial Services’ president, Ms. Sandra Shirley, in a keynote address outlined some of the things her company plans to do in assisting in the uplifting of Jamaica’s music. The “Build Jamaica With Music “, programme will be sponsoring the Sonny Bradshaw School Band Competition, The Alpha Boy’s School Band, the annual Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, as well as putting on a series of Sunday concerts in the Emancipation Park to expose talented young musicians. The series of free Sunday concerts will be held in the Emancipation Park and will commence in July through to August and December ’08.

Ms. Shirley emphasized that the Sonny Bradshaw School Band Competition will aim to encourage music literacy among young people and lift the standard of Jamaica’s popular music. In FGFS’ support for the Alpha Boy’s School Band, note was made of the 128-year tradition and history of the band, which was established in 1880. FGFS’ assistance to the band will seek to strengthen the tradition of discipline and the high level of outstanding music tuition it offers to its students. Some of the Alpha Boy’s Band’s past student who have excelled in their field are, Don Drummond, Bobby Ellis, Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace; the late Desmond Decker, Dizzy “Johnny “ Moore, Leroy Smart Dwight Richards and Sparrow Martin. First Global Financial Services will extend a strong arm of support to the annual staging of the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Jamaica’s first truly established jazz music festival. The financial sponsorship support from the FGFS will assist the 18-year long established event in extending its reach to attract additional foreign and Jamaican audience to come and experience performances from some of the world’s leading musicians working alongside some of Jamaica’s best musical exponents.

The Honourable, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports was the guest speaker at the launch. She expressed that the First Global financial Services’ announcement of the “Build Jamaica with Music” programme is a timely one. She also remarked that it comes at a time when other corporate entities are cutting support from some music events because of violence and indiscipline associated with some shows and added that this show of support for Jamaica’s music and its development is most heartening.

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