Tag Archives: Music

Eight prepare to participate in The Washington Center internship program this summer.

PATRICE RENEE` HARRIS |

twcST. THOMAS – Eight students at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) are currently preparing to spend their entire summer in Washington D.C.

The students will be participating in The Washington Center (TWC) Internship Program commencing May 27 until Aug. 7.

The 10-week program includes an internship, networking opportunities, leadership forums, academic course, and civic engagement programs. The students will also receive academic credits for their participation in the program.

Students will be immersed in the corporate and civic culture of Washington D.C.

The successful candidates were chosen to represent UVI from a pool of 15 applicants including graduate students.

TWC liason, Leslyn Tonge, said choosing the eight students was a difficult task.

Tonge said that the process began as early as February in order to meet the priority deadline. According to Tonge, the recruitment process included email blasts, class visits, presentations, workshops and one on one conversations. UVI also engaged a representative from TWC to meet with students and introduce them to the program.

Tonge said that UVI’s selection criteria included a 3.0 or more GPA and second semester sophomore and upper class-men.

A five-member committee chose the final eight participants by looking at the quality of the essays, recommendation letters, interest statements and professional statements submitted by the students.

The total cost for the university’s participation in the program exceeds $100,000. However, the school is confident that the students will benefit from the program.

UVI’s participation is made possible through funding from the Virgin Islands’ Legislature.

Provost Camille McKayle says that the investment is worthwhile. She said that UVI’s participation is in line with the university’s commitment to provide various educational experiences for students, outside of the UVI classroom.

“One of the things that we have really been trying to focus on is getting students different experiences. [We want students to] use UVI as a pathway to anywhere they want to go and not to think of education as just within the classrooms at UVI, but as varying sets of experiences,”McKayle said.

Provost McKayle hopes that students’ participation in these experiences will allow them to have different perspectives on the world of work. She also noted that participation in the TWC program, “enhances intellectual activity and conversation on campus.”

McKayle expects that the students will be organized, professional and ambassadors for the Virgin Islands. She encouraged the students to be the best all the time.

The eight participants include Music and Business major, Chyrstal Duncan, Communications major, Zoe Walker, Accounting major Alphea Brown and Tayla-Marie Manners, Criminal Justice Majors Depa Punjabe and Alana Carbon, Communications and English major Patrice Reneé Harris, and graduate student Lorenzo Donastorg.

Sophomore accounting major Alphea Brown says that she is pleased to have been selected. Browne said she is particularly “looking forward to learning new skills, expanding her network and gaining new opportunities.”

Communications major on St Croix, Zoe Walker, said that she is excited to participate in the program. She says she is looking forward to gaining work experience in Human Resource Management. “I am really looking forward to networking, because UVI does not offer Human Resource Management as a major. This internship will give me the experience I need to land a job in Human Resource Management after I leave UVI,” Walker said.

Walker is currently researching and acquainting herself with the mission, vision and culture of her internship site.
Presently, the university is finalizing travel arrangements and stipends, and approving the students’ academic program. The students are confirming internship and housing placements.

Upon their return from the summer internship program, the students will present their experience to the board of trustees.
This year marks the third year that the UVI has participated in the program. Each year the program has grown with an increasing numbers of applications from the university.

Advertisements

Musically Challenged

Despite the benefits of musical education, University of the Virgin Islands’ students tire of redundancy.

MAKIL BEDMINSTER|

ST. THOMAS – Students on the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Thomas campus have desired diversity with their musical class selections.

However, student interest has not been enough for the university to make improvements in musical education.

“It’s not that the university doesn’t have music classes, but they lack a variety. Music is to be learned progressively, once you have reached a certain level, then you must continue to progress. Stagnation is the key to unproductivity,” Nyim Haynes, former UVI international relations student  said. Continue reading Musically Challenged

Musical Talent at UVI

Musical Talent at UVI

DENICIA SUAREZ|

ST.CROIX- An unfamiliar face walked into the theater on a Wednesday afternoon. He walked to the back to the only piano, a Baldwin, sat down and played an original song, “Origami,” while students listened in amazement.

The University of the Virgin Islands has musically talented students who might be compared to famous pianists such as Ray Charles, Ludwig van Beethoven and Sun Ra, but they go unnoticed. Students at UVI say there isn’t a strong music program and going off island seems to be the better option.

Jamal Francis playing the Piano
Freshman, Jamal Francis , playing his original piece “Origami”

Jahmal Francis emerges from the circle of students whose musical talent stands out.

Francis is an 18-year-old freshman at UVI. His personality and calm charisma is sculpted by music. He started playing the piano at the age of 12 and at 15 he made a special effort to master his talents. Francis sings and has mastered both the tenor saxophone and the piano, with piano being his favorite. His high school music teacher taught him the basics of playing the piano, however, he learned the rest on his own. He enjoys incorporating his R&B style into every key he plays on the piano.

“I first play with my heart, then my hands in a sense. The music takes me away,’” he said.

This multitalented student majors in business management but his true passion is music. Francis Francis says he might transfer to a different school. He really wants to major in entrepreneurship with a concentration of music, however, majoring in music is not UVI’s strong point. According to UVI’s website, the only degree program that UVI offers in relation to music is a bachelor’s degree in music education. Francis is torn between leaving home and going away to study his true passion.

When Francis is not playing a mellow tune, he is writing poetry. In his free time he plays his emotions into his piano and projects his lyrical thoughts on paper through song writing.

Francis is a perfectionist when it comes to his music. Along with recording his music, his keen hearing for piano notes allows him to tune his music to perfection.

Francis is an original. His smooth style, soulful keys and other musical elements included in his music are 100 percent him. He listens to a variety of music because he believes every artist is unique and it inspires him to be different. Listening to a variety of musical genres allows Francis to channel his musical abilities through his voice and instruments to share with other people who enjoy music.

There are only a few people who aware of Francis’ talent because there are limited showcasing outlets for musical talent at UVI. Promoting himself as an artist can be difficult because he does not have the proper materials to record his music. However, Francis still finds alternatives to promote his music through social networks like Facebook.

The famous pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven said, “the barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, ‘Thus far and no further.’”

Francis and a group of other young artists are on their way to making an album. The album will contain a collage of young local artists showcasing their different styles and abilities.

Music is something special to Francis. It brings out a humble, artistic aura that touches others when he plays. Even though showcasing outlets and required materials to record his music are few, Francis pushes through and finds alternatives to stay local through the album and remain at UVI.

The University of the Virgin Islands has musically talented students who anxiously wait to find an outlet to showcase their abilities.

“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don`t hoard it. Don`t dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” said Aaron Kildow.

From basketball pants to short skirts

A UVI BUCCS Cheerleader

SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED

ST. THOMAS- When 19-year-old DeLanni Matthew was surrounded by friends who all wanted to become members of the Buccaneer’s Cheerleading Squad last Spring, she decided to give it a shot.

Years ago, skirts didn’t exist to her. She would put up a fight whenever someone tried to get her out of her favorite basketball shorts. Now she can be found courtside shaking her pom poms in a tiny skirt.

pic 3
DeLanni Matthew before the 2013 Homecoming Game.
Photo Credit: Shari Chryss Alfred

To most of her friends, it was quite a shocker.

“Are you serious, I don’t even know who you are anymore,” ToQuoya George, long time friend of Matthew, said.

In junior high, when all the girls in her class were having conversations about hair and nails, she often stood out.

“I was the outsider all the time,” Matthew said, “I preferred basketball.”

Cheerleading, however, wasn’t the breakthrough for her.

She didn’t quite fit the petite look of the majorettes you see competing in the World Baton Twirling Federation International Cup, but she practiced baton twirling each summer with the Lutheran Church of Reformation from the young age of seven.

For this 5’9” computer science sophomore, the change officially began eight years ago. This was when she fully dedicated her heart to the sport and began twirling professionally.

“All the girly girls call themselves fashionistas, but me I’m a batonista,” Matthew said. “Twirling for me is more than just fun – it’s a way of life.”

Matthew was one of the few Charter Members of the eight-time champions, the St. Thomas Majorettes, Inc.

“I got a phone call from the assistant director of the organization and I took her to the first practice and we haven’t left since,” Brenda Monsanto, Matthew’s mother, said. “I didn’t take her seriously because whenever I tried to get her involved in something she never stuck to it but she proved me wrong.”

Even though she had been used to performing, for her, being a cheerleader was like being a totally different person.

“Cheerleaders are supposed to have school spirit and be perky all the time and that wasn’t me,” Matthew said.

To many, Matthew is considered a star performer. Her fellow cheerleaders look up to her and expect a lot.

“DeLanni Matthew is a talented and well-rounded student. The enthusiasm and skill that she has brought to the team is a great example of what a university cheerleader should look like,” Thia Homer, captain of the Bucs Cheerleading Squad, said. “She represents us well and is always encouraging others to do well also.”

Outside of classes, she has been very involved in student organizations. She is known for her participation in the Social, Cultural and Carnival Organizing Committee in the 2012-2013 school year. Many of her peers were granted an opportunity to see her perform in the Dining Pavilion during the First Annual Carnival Week in March of 2013.

Caption DeLanni performs chair stunts during Smith Bay Carnival 2012 Photo Credit Naheem Mason
Caption DeLanni performs chair stunts during Smith Bay Carnival 2012
Photo Credit Naheem Mason

Matthew also enjoys reading, playing games on her iPad and most importantly spending time with family and friends outside of school and performances.

Though she is over the age limit to perform in the annual Carnival Children’s Parade whenever there is an opportunity to perform, on or off island, she goes for it.

“DeLanni has proven herself to be a very dedicated and talented contributing member to the majorettes,” said Alicia Gumbs, secretary of the organization. “Even though she has graduated and is attending college, she continues to give up her time in order for the group to remain a success.”

So when you see her around campus, baton or no baton, pom poms or no pom poms, feel free to ask her to show you one of her famous “Olympic” toe touches. If you get lucky, she might even teach you.
Caption: Matthew poses before 2011 Paradise Jam Games. Photo Credit: Brenda Monsanto
Matthew poses before 2011 Paradise Jam Games.
Photo Credit: Brenda Monsanto