Today youths were given the opportunity to meet one of Stevie Wonder’s Band Saxophonist, Ryan Kilgore, during today’s scholarship award ceremony. Youths who were invited were recipients of scholarships from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC). Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer, spoke of the collaboration with Kilgore and how this event came about.
Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: “He said that he is interested in working with youths with music and he wants to ensure that music goes a very high height in Belize, that music education is a part of our school’s curriculum, that young people are exposed to music. Music is the food of love so we believe that if children are interested in music that maybe they would use their energies for positive things rather than for negative things. Today 60 students benefited from a thousand dollars each and today we also gave them a school bag with some books, pencils, and pens. Well we are hoping that music would be taught in every school, students can do a lot if they are musically talented and if they are interested in music that would help them to become entrepreneurs, that they don’t go and look jobs and that they can create their own business, they can become musicians, they can play for events, they can create music and become songwriters I mean the opportunities are endless.”
Kilgore shared with us some of the plans he has for Belize in the near future and why we should invest in our artists.
Ryan Kilgore, Saxophonist: “We just want to come here and kinda find out more so about what the culture is here and how we can help and see where the collaboration can be and where we can have a sustainable consistent programming of different artists coming through, sharing with the students, do a master class. One of our main initiatives is doing instrument drives so collecting instruments, getting them repaired and giving the students; maybe the students didn’t know they wanted to play the sax, maybe they didn’t know they wanted to play trombone or whatever but just if they have the opportunity to have it then I think it at least alleviates the issue of “I don’t know if I really want to do it.” because if you have it then you can make a choice. Once they get more into music we just want to be able to show them that it also allows them to travel and they can see the world with it, so that’s why I asked the question about passports because there are children that want to come to places like this that need to exposed but at the same time those children also can come to America and see the culture of music and then we see how much we are alike in a lot of ways and we may get exposed to different things and different places at different times but music, outside of food, music is one of those things that brings the entire world together; and so I just want to be a voice for that and show that we can change the atmosphere of our communities through music and coming together and being a great citizen of wherever we are and music can be a gateway to anywhere in the world. Definitely the next time and the more we come we have the opportunity to really set some schedules where I can meet the real culture of the music here and meet the musicians I’m looking forward to that and seeing if we can even record some stuff and get some things going that can benefit these students and all the communities involved.”
Kilgore noted that this will not be his last time visiting Belize.