Monday, February 20, 2017

Sinfo-Nia's Special Jamaica Performance Tour Announcement



Greetings Bill,

I want to extend an invitation  for Sinfo-Nia's Jamaica Performance Tour to students (middle, high school, and college) that do not live in metro Atlanta.  If they are interested in going (and can pay for it), they are most welcomed.  We are looking for string players that have at least three years of instruction.  They do not have to attend our Summer Camp.  Those who are interested should contact Mrs. Alycia Robinson immediately at (404) 428-0840.  Orchestra directors in the schools can post the attached flier and letters as well.  Here is the revised announcement:

Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta is announcing itsperformance tour to Jamaica this summer for ten days - July 2-12, 2017.  The requirement is that each student must attend Sinfo-Nia's entire two-week Summer Camp June 12-23, 2017 (including the performances).  We are sending a ground crew to Jamaica to set up our tour.  Sinfo-Nia has a fine tradition of traveling inexpensively.  To begin with, the dollar is strong in Jamaica.  The food should not cost much.  We are getting a great deal on accommodations in Kingston.  We do plan on spending some leisure time in Montego Bay.  We are looking to partner up with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica.  Most of these students come from no and low-income family households.  Therefore, we are working on sponsoring some of the things they need.   Students that are interested in this trip should have their parents contact Mrs. Alycia Robinson as soon as possible.  They should let her know that they would like information on the Jamaica trip so that you can make payments.  Our first wave of payments will begin in March with a down payment.  Those that express interest later will have another payment schedule to meet.  A U.S. passport is also required to go.  You don't want to wait until the last minute to get one because it usually takes six to eight weeks (however, there is an expedited service in metro Atlanta - www.visalady.com which is the International Visa Service located at 316 Hammond Dr., Atlanta, GA; it will cost more).

Attached are some invitation letters (high school students, college students, and the school music directors) as well as our flier.

Sincerely,
David E. Robinson III


Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra P.O. Box 42732   ◊  Atlanta, Georgia 30311-0732 (404) 328-0840  ◊  www.sinfo-nia.com   ◊  stillwaters690@gmail.com David E. Robinson III, Founder & Director January 9, 2017 

Greetings Orchestra Directors, 

I hope that you are having a wonderful school-year and that you had a restful holiday break.  I hope that you are looking forward to a nice, exciting vacation (and further study) during the upcoming summer.    My name is David E. Robinson III, a 33-year orchestra director in the Dekalb County School System in metropolitan Atlanta and founder and director of the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta (founded 1990).  Sinfo-Nia is planning to travel to Jamaica this summer.  The dates are July 2-12, 2017, a ten-day performance tour.   I would like to open up this invitation to advanced-level middle and high school orchestra students.  You may make copies of the attached letter and flier to pass out to your students.  Some of them may be interested in going on this wonderful performance tour of a lifetime.  They should present this information to their parents/guardians.  Some of them may want to go, too.  We have also invited students from some of the colleges with orchestra programs.  ).  With the school-year resuming in January, this is the ideal time to announce this tour and plan such a great adventure. 

We are planning to connect with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ).  We are also planning to collaborate with a steel pan ensemble whereas all groups would perform as one symphony orchestra.  Together we would feature a wide variety of multicultural music, especially from the Diaspora: classical, jazz, Negro spirituals, gospel, reggae (dancehall and other styles), calypso, ragtime, soca (the music of Trinidad & Tobago), Top-40: rock, R & B, hip-hop, and so on.  I will be arranging most of the music.   

Your involvement in this history-making project can open up many doors for you as orchestral musicians and music educators.  This could become an “international” orchestra festival as we will have students coming from other cities (middle, high school, and college).   

If your students have not made any plans for the summer, please have them consider going on this exciting orchestra tour.  We will certainly let their parents know what the costs are.  Each student must have a valid U.S. passport.  Those who don’t have them should apply for one immediately.  There is plenty of time at this point.  To begin, please look up round-trip airfare from your city.  Then we want to let you know that food and lodging are very cheap compared to the U.S.  The U.S. dollar is strong there.  We would be staying in the Immaculate Conception Hostle dormitories in Kingston those first six or seven nights.  Some of the meals there are included.  The other expenses would be any excursions we would take such as Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, the beach, Montego Bay (where we will spend our final two nights; there are hotel costs), shopping, sightseeing, and so on.  The ground transportation to these places is not expensive.  In other words, this will be an international trip that can cost considerably less than a U.S. in a downtown hotel.   

 Since 1990 up until 2005, I used to take Sinfo-Nia to a national music convention every year.  The price of a hotel stay would cost somewhere around $179.00 a night per room plus taxes and $40.00 for parking (if we are driving).  Then we would pay a convention registration of $150.00 (and more if we were late paying it).  I have decided that we would travel to the Caribbean each year for a lot less.  The students would have much more fun, learn a lot more, meet a lot of new people, network, and be able to make great contributions in helping students in these countries as well as network and fellowship with them.  They would also serve as "peer ambassadors" in the youth orchestra field. 

More on opportunities, Jamaica has an adult professional orchestra called the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica.  I am giving them ideas about an internship program where college orchestra musicians can come, spend some time, and earn some credit.  I served as artist-in-residence on cello with the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday season (ten days).  I had so much fun.  I also tutored a few cello students.  It was this experience that I met the wonderful people directing the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Mr. Darren Young and Dr. Ann McNamee (retired, but still helping with this trip).  .  I have attached some information on JSO as well as the summary of my trip.  Here is a link that was published in the news publication called, "AfriClassical" (submitted by me). 


Those who play cello or double bass will not have to worry about bringing instruments.  Those will be provided for us to use while we are in Kingston (we may not perform in Montego Bay because that will be the end of our trip to go back to the States).  Bring your bows just in case.  Violins and violas, bring an extra bow or two, extra bridge, and extra strings.  It is hard to find a string repair shop there.  Anytime you travel to a foreign country, it is advisable to carry these items in case something breaks because we do not know where to find any repair shops that are open.  

We are looking to do three or four performances (always prepare for more).   The trip would begin with two (or three) days of rehearsals.  They might go into the evening in order to rehearse with the steel pan ensemble, which is made up of adults.  Many of them work during the day.  The rest of the time other than the performances, we are going to have some summer fun.  

Advice to middle and high school students from cities outside of Atlanta who we are inviting.   You would be required to have a parent (maybe a few) to come along as a chaperone.  For instance, if two or three (or four) students are coming from a school, one parent could be there to look after them.  We want adult representation from each city.  I think more parents would like to go on this trip anyway. 

The results we can expect from this great collaboration are as follows: 

 More Jamaican children, youth, and college students will become interested in playing musical instruments where many of their parents may invest in music lessons, camps/workshops, and instruments, 

 More Jamaican music students will want to major (or minor) in music in college, 

 More Jamaican college music majors could play in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica in the future as volunteer interns, which would be a part of their training, 

 More  Jamaican citizens will want to attend concerts of the POJ and its youth orchestra programs, 

 Government, arts, tourism, music promotion officials in Jamaica will want to promote and support all of POJ's programs, which could attract corporate donors (Total Oil Company comes to mind), 

 More orchestra students from the U.S. will want to come to Jamaica to take part in POJ's youth orchestra programs; college students could come and serve as volunteer interns in POJ (as collegiate artists-in-residence), which will look good on their resumes. 

 This could be the start of a true pan-Caribbean, even a pan-African youth symphony orchestra program, which will attract student musicians from all over the world especially in the African diaspora.  It will gain international recognition and respect. 

 Youth orchestra programs on the continent of Africa will sprout up, build, and flourish. 

 Live orchestras could record with popular recording artists.   

 The youth orchestra program could record songs that could become hits (even earn national and international music awards).  Music videos could also be made of these songs.   

 College students can network and pursue and create many opportunities for careers in orchestral music on the international scope. 

We are looking forward to having you on this trip.  Here is our contact information: 

David E. Robinson III, founder & director (404) 944-9567 E-mail: stillwaters690@gmail.com 

Alycia Robinson, operations director (404) 428-3804 E-mail: alycia@sinfo-nia.com 

Our website is www.sinfo-nia.com.  You may also find us on Facebook – “Sinfo-Nia” (Musician/Band) where you will see some of our videos.  We can also be found on YouTube…and on rapper 50 Cent’s Instagram (we performed for him twice).  Also on YouTube, look up Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group where you will see some exciting videos of Sinfo-Nia performing with them.  Keisha is a 
famous singer and the daughter of another famous singer, Millie Jackson.  We also performed a music video with Ashanti Floyd, also known as "The Mad Violinist" on his composition, "Battle Field," which is also on YouTube. 

Your prompt reply will be appreciated as we have some deadlines for a deposit, payment schedule, passport information, itinerary, and so on.  .  I have attached an Application for each of them to complete and turn in to me (or to you to send to me).  If you would like to go on this tour, you are certainly invited.  Have a wonderful day.    

Sincerely, David & Alycia Robinson



Greetings College Orchestra Musician (and Graduate), 

I hope that you are having a wonderful school-year.  I hope that you are looking forward to a nice, exciting vacation (and further study) during the upcoming summer.    My name is David E. Robinson III, a 33-year orchestra director in the Dekalb County School System in metropolitan Atlanta and founder and director of the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta (founded 1990).  SinfoNia is planning to travel to Jamaica this summer.  The dates are July 2-12, 2017, a ten-day performance tour.   I would like to open up this invitation to college orchestra students such as yourself.  Although Sinfo-Nia is a “youth” orchestra, most of our members are college students from Morehouse College, Agnes Scott College, and other places.  I am a graduate of Morehouse. 

We are planning to connect with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ).  We are also planning to collaborate with a steel pan ensemble whereas all groups would perform as one symphony orchestra.  Together we would feature a wide variety of multicultural music, especially from the Diaspora: classical, jazz, Negro spirituals, gospel, reggae (dancehall and other styles), calypso, ragtime, soca (the music of Trinidad & Tobago), Top-40: rock, R & B, hip-hop, and so on.  I will be arranging most of the music.   

Your involvement in this history-making project can open up many doors for you as orchestral musicians and music educators.  This could become an “international” orchestra festival as we will have students coming from other cities (middle, high school, and college).   

If you have not made any plans for this for the summer, please consider going on this trip.  We will certainly let you know what the costs are.  You must have a valid U.S. passport.  For one thing, please look up round-trip airfare from your city.  Then we want to let you know that food and lodging are very cheap compared to the U.S.  The U.S. dollar is strong there.  We would be staying in the Immaculate Conception Hostle dormitories in Kingston.  Some of the meals there are included.  The other expenses would be any excursions we would take such as Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, the beach, Montego Bay (where we will spend our final two nights), shopping, sightseeing, and so on.  The ground transportation to these places is not expensive.  In other words, this will be an international trip that can cost considerably less than a U.S. in a downtown hotel.  Since 1990 I used to take Sinfo-Nia to a national music convention every year.  The price of a hotel stay would cost somewhere around $179.00 a night plus taxes and $40.00 for parking (if we are driving).  Then we would pay a convention registration of $150.00 (and more if we were late paying it).  I have decided that we would travel to the Caribbean each year for a lot less.  The students would have much more fun, learn a lot more, and be able to make great contributions in helping students in these countries as well as network and fellowship with them.  They would also serve as "peer ambassadors" in the youth orchestra field. 

More on opportunities, Jamaica has an adult professional orchestra called the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica.  I am giving them ideas about an internship program where college orchestra musicians can come, spend some time, and earn some credit.  I served as artist-in-residence on cello with the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday season (ten days).  I had so much fun.  I also tutored a few cello students.  It was this experience that I met the wonderful people directing the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Mr. Darren Young and Dr. Ann McNamee (retired, but still helping with this trip).  I have attached some information on JSO as well as the summary of my trip.  Here is a link that was published in the news publication called, "AfriClassical" (submitted by me). 


Those who play cello or double bass will not have to worry about bringing instruments.  Those will be provided for us to use while we are in Kingston (we won’t perform in Montego Bay because that will be the end of our trip to go back to the States).  Bring your bows just in case.  Those who play violin or viola should bring an extra bow or two, an extra bridge, and extra strings.  It is hard to find a string repair shop there.   

As a college student, you would rehearse and perform as well as assist the directors, mentor students, coach some small groups, serve as chaperones (not a lot of work for a great group of students; we will have many parents present) and so on.  I am contacting several more colleges and universities.  We may want a few students from each of them.  However, if more students are interested in going, that would be great, too.  You may spread the word.  I would rather have at least two students from each school to participate unless if there is one, you would have a good friend at another school.   

We are looking to do three or four performances (always prepare for more).  The trip would begin with two (or three) days of rehearsals.  They might go into the evening in order to rehearse with the steel pan ensemble, which is made up of adults.  Many of them work during the day.  The rest of the time other than the performances, we are going to have some summer fun.   

The results we can expect from this great collaboration are as follows: 

 More Jamaican children, youth, and college students will become interested in playing musical instruments where many of their parents may invest in music lessons, camps/workshops, and instruments, 

 More Jamaican and U.S. music students will want to major (or minor) in music in college, 

 More Jamaican and U.S. college music majors could play in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica in the future starting off as volunteer interns, which would be a part of their training, 

 More  Jamaican citizens will want to attend concerts of the POJ and its youth orchestra programs, 

 Government, arts, tourism, music promotion officials in Jamaica will want to promote and support all of POJ's programs, which could attract corporate donors (Total Oil Company comes to mind), 


 More orchestra students from the U.S. will want to come to Jamaica to take part in POJ's youth orchestra programs; college students could come and serve as volunteer interns in POJ (as collegiate artists-in-residence), and take part in any student exchange programs Jamaica’s colleges may offer, which will look good on their resumes. 

 This could be the start of a true pan-Caribbean, even a pan-African youth and collegiate symphony orchestra program, which will attract student musicians from all over the world especially in the African Diaspora.  It can gain international recognition and respect. 

 Youth orchestra programs on the continent of Africa will sprout up, build, and flourish. 

 Live orchestras could record with popular recording artists.   

 The youth orchestra program could record songs that could become hits (even earn national and international music awards).  Music videos could also be made of these songs.   

 College students can network and pursue and create many opportunities for careers in orchestral music on the international scope.  This also goes for high school students bound for college. 

We are looking forward to having you on this trip.  Here is our contact information: 

David E. Robinson III, founder & director (404) 944-9567 E-mail: stillwaters690@gmail.com 

Alycia Robinson, operations director (404) 428-3804 E-mail: alycia@sinfo-nia.com 

Our website is www.sinfo-nia.com.  You may also find us on Facebook – “Sinfo-Nia” (Musician/Band) where you will see some of our videos.  We can also be found on YouTube…and on rapper 50 Cent’s Instagram (we performed for him twice).  Also on YouTube, look up Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group where you will see some exciting videos of Sinfo-Nia performing with them.  Keisha is a famous singer and the daughter of another singer, Millie Jackson.  We also performed a music video with Ashanti Floyd, also known as "The Mad Violinist" on his composition, "Battle Field," which is also on YouTube. 

Your prompt reply will be appreciated as we have some deadlines for a deposit, payment schedule, passport information, itinerary, and so on.  Have a wonderful day. 

Sincerely, David E. and Alycia Robinson


Greetings Orchestra Students, 

I hope that you are having a wonderful school-year.  I hope that you are looking forward to a nice, exciting vacation (and further study) during the upcoming summer.    My name is David E. Robinson III, a 33-year orchestra director in the Dekalb County School System in metropolitan Atlanta and founder and director of the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta (founded 1990).  SinfoNia is planning to travel to Jamaica this summer.  The dates are July 2-12, 2017, a ten-day performance tour.   I would like to open up this invitation to advanced-level middle and high school orchestra students such as yourself.  We have also invited students from some of the colleges with orchestra programs. 

We are planning to connect with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ).  We are also planning to collaborate with a steel pan ensemble whereas all groups would perform as one symphony orchestra.  Together we would feature a wide variety of multicultural music, especially from the Diaspora: classical, jazz, Negro spirituals, gospel, reggae (dancehall and other styles), calypso, ragtime, soca (the music of Trinidad & Tobago), Top-40: rock, R & B, hip-hop, and so on.  I will be arranging most of the music.   

Your involvement in this history-making project can open up many doors for you as orchestral musicians and music educators.  This could become an “international” orchestra festival as we will have students coming from other cities (middle, high school, and college).   

If you have not made any plans for this for the summer, please consider going on this trip.  We will certainly let you know what the costs are.  You must have a valid U.S. passport.  To begin, please look up round-trip airfare from your city.  Then we want to let you know that food and lodging are very cheap compared to the U.S.  The U.S. dollar is strong there.  We would be staying in the Immaculate Conception Hostle dormitories in Kingston.  Some of the meals there are included.  The other expenses would be any excursions we would take such as Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, the beach, Montego Bay (where we will spend our final two nights), shopping, sightseeing, and so on.  The ground transportation to these places is not expensive.  In other words, this will be an international trip that can cost considerably less than a U.S. in a downtown hotel.   

Since 1990 I used to take Sinfo-Nia to a national music convention every year.  The price of a hotel stay would cost somewhere around $179.00 a night per room plus taxes and $40.00 for parking (if we are driving).  Then we would pay a convention registration of $150.00 (and more if we were late paying it).  I have decided that we would travel to the Caribbean each year for a lot less.  The students would have much more fun, learn a lot more, and be able to make great contributions in helping students in these 
countries as well as network and fellowship with them.  They would also serve as "peer ambassadors" in the youth orchestra field. 

More on opportunities, Jamaica has an adult professional orchestra called the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica.  I am giving them ideas about an internship program where college orchestra musicians can come, spend some time, and earn some credit.  I served as artist-in-residence on cello with the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday season (ten days).  I had so much fun.  I also tutored a few cello students.  It was this experience that I met the wonderful people directing the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Mr. Darren Young and Dr. Ann McNamee (retired, but still helping with this trip).  .  I have attached some information on JSO as well as the summary of my trip.  Here is a link that was published in the news publication called, "AfriClassical" (submitted by me). 


Those who play cello or double bass will not have to worry about bringing instruments.  Those will be provided for us to use while we are in Kingston (we may not perform in Montego Bay because that will be the end of our trip to go back to the States).  Bring your bows just in case.  Violins and violas, bring an extra bow or two, extra bridge, and extra strings.  It is hard to find a string repair shop there.  Anytime you travel to a foreign country, it is advisable to carry these items in case something breaks because we do not know where to find any repair shops that are open.  

We are looking to do three or four performances (always prepare for more).   The trip would begin with two (or three) days of rehearsals.  They might go into the evening in order to rehearse with the steel pan ensemble, which is made up of adults.  Many of them work during the day.  The rest of the time other than the performances, we are going to have some summer fun.  

Advice to middle and high school students from cities outside of Atlanta who we are inviting.   You would be required to have a parent (maybe a few) to come along as a chaperone.  For instance, if two or three (or four) students are coming from a school, one parent could be there to look after them.  We want adult representation from each city.  I think more parents would like to go on this trip anyway. 

The results we can expect from this great collaboration are as follows: 

 More Jamaican children, youth, and college students will become interested in playing musical instruments where many of their parents may invest in music lessons, camps/workshops, and instruments, 

 More Jamaican music students will want to major (or minor) in music in college, 

 More Jamaican college music majors could play in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica in the future as volunteer interns, which would be a part of their training, 

 More  Jamaican citizens will want to attend concerts of the POJ and its youth orchestra programs, 


 Government, arts, tourism, music promotion officials in Jamaica will want to promote and support all of POJ's programs, which could attract corporate donors (Total Oil Company comes to mind), 

 More orchestra students from the U.S. will want to come to Jamaica to take part in POJ's youth orchestra programs; college students could come and serve as volunteer interns in POJ (as collegiate artists-in-residence), which will look good on their resumes. 

 This could be the start of a true pan-Caribbean, even a pan-African youth symphony orchestra program, which will attract student musicians from all over the world especially in the African diaspora.  It will gain international recognition and respect. 

 Youth orchestra programs on the continent of Africa will sprout up, build, and flourish. 

 Live orchestras could record with popular recording artists.   

 The youth orchestra program could record songs that could become hits (even earn national and international music awards).  Music videos could also be made of these songs.   

 College students can network and pursue and create many opportunities for careers in orchestral music on the international scope. 

We are looking forward to having you on this trip.  Here is our contact information: 

David E. Robinson III, founder & director (404) 944-9567 E-mail: stillwaters690@gmail.com 

Alycia Robinson, operations director (404) 428-3804 E-mail: alycia@sinfo-nia.com 

Our website is www.sinfo-nia.com.  You may also find us on Facebook – “Sinfo-Nia” (Musician/Band) where you will see some of our videos.  We can also be found on YouTube…and on rapper 50 Cent’s Instagram (we performed for him twice).  Also on YouTube, look up Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group where you will see some exciting videos of Sinfo-Nia performing with them.  Keisha is a famous singer and the daughter of another singer, Millie Jackson.  We also performed a music video with Ashanti Floyd, also known as "The Mad Violinist" on his composition, "Battle Field," which is also on YouTube. 

Your prompt reply will be appreciated as we have some deadlines for a deposit, payment schedule, passport information, itinerary, and so on.  Have a wonderful day. 

 Sincerely, David & Alycia Robinson 

Music Videos of Sinfo-Nia: 

“Battle Field” composed by Ashanti Floyd, a.k.a, “The Mad Violinist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH3NZdxkEsM 

“Fly Away” by John Jay from the movie, “life.less” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sCXMgzWr1k 

“Big, Rich Town” (Theme from “Power’) performing for rapper, 50 Cent (our college and adult members).  These are also on his Instagram. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uktmk8e4xPU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6P58QLJCKY 

“Bells Over Baghdad” with Keisha Jackson (daughter of Millie Jackson) and her chorale, One Voice Music Group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPI9GE5Xlzc 

“Silent Proto Night” with Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn-YpaxeR20 

“12 Days of Liberation” with Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQvtAj1qEw8 

“Dance With My Father” featuring vocalist, Victery.  Sinfo-Nia’s ensemble called “The Griots https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRYOT5eY000 

More videos are on YouTube under Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia 

More videos on Facebook under “Sinfo-Nia” (Musician/Band)


Greetings College Orchestra Director, 

I hope that you are having a wonderful school-year and having an exciting, restful holiday season.  I hope that you are looking forward to a nice, exciting vacation during the upcoming summer.    My name is David E. Robinson III, a 33-year orchestra director in the Dekalb County School System in metropolitan Atlanta and founder and director of the Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia Orchestra of Metropolitan Atlanta (founded 1990).  Sinfo-Nia is planning to travel to Jamaica this summer.  The dates are July 2-12, 2017, a ten-day performance tour.   I would like to open up this invitation to college/university orchestra students, whether or not they are music majors/minors.  We have also invited students from some middle and high schools with orchestra programs (and some adult musicians).  We are not expecting all of your students to take part.  A handful of students would be great (parents are also invited).  With the school-year resuming in January, this is the ideal time to announce this tour and plan such a great adventure. 

We are planning to connect with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ).  We are also planning to collaborate with a steel pan ensemble whereas all groups would perform as one symphony orchestra.  Together we would feature a wide variety of multicultural music, especially from the Diaspora: classical, jazz, Negro spirituals, gospel, reggae (dancehall and other styles), calypso, ragtime, soca (the music of Trinidad & Tobago), Top-40: rock, R & B, hip-hop, and so on.  I will be arranging most of the music.   

Your students' involvement in this history-making project can open up many doors for them especially if some are planning performance and/or music education careers.  This could become an “international” orchestra festival as we will have students coming from other cities (middle, high school, and college).   

If your students have not made any plans for the summer, please have them consider going on this exciting orchestra tour.  We will certainly let their parents know what the costs are.  Each student must have a valid U.S. passport.  Those who don’t have them should apply for one immediately.  There is plenty of time at this point.  To begin, please look up round-trip airfare from your city.  Then we want to let you know that food and lodging are very cheap compared to the U.S.  The U.S. dollar is strong there.  We would be staying in the Immaculate Conception Hostle dormitories in Kingston those first six or seven nights.  Some of the meals there are included.  The other expenses would be any excursions we would take such as Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, the beach, Montego Bay (where we will spend our final two nights; there are hotel costs), shopping, sightseeing, and so on.  The ground transportation to these places is not expensive.  In other words, this will be an international trip that can cost considerably less than a U.S. in a downtown hotel.   

Since 1990 up until 2005, I used to take Sinfo-Nia to a national music convention every year.  The price of a hotel stay would cost somewhere around $179.00 a night per room plus taxes and $40.00 for parking (if we are driving).  Then we would pay a convention registration of $150.00 (and more if we were late paying it).  I have decided that we would travel to the Caribbean each year for a lot less.  The students would have much more fun, learn a lot more, meet a lot of new people, network, fellowship, and so on. They would also serve as mentors to the younger musicians and "peer ambassadors" to other college students.   

More on opportunities, Jamaica has an adult professional orchestra called the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica.  I am giving them ideas about an internship program where college orchestra musicians can come, spend some time, and earn some credit.  I served as artist-in-residence on cello with the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday season (ten days).  I had so much fun.  I also tutored a few cello students.  It was this experience that I met the wonderful people directing the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Mr. Darren Young and Dr. Ann McNamee (retired, but still helping with this trip).  .  I have attached some information on JSO as well as the summary of my trip.  Here is a link that was published in the news publication called, "AfriClassical" (submitted by me). 


Those who play cello or double bass will not have to worry about bringing instruments.  Those will be provided for us to use while we are in Kingston (we may not perform in Montego Bay because that will be the end of our trip to go back to the States).  Bring your bows just in case.  Violins and violas, bring an extra bow or two, extra bridge, extra strings, and some rosin.  It is hard to find a string repair shop there if something were to break.  Anytime you travel to a foreign country, it is advisable to carry these items in case something breaks because we do not know where to find any repair shops that are open.  

We are looking to do at least three performances (maybe four).   The trip would begin with two (or three) days of rehearsals.  They might go into the evening in order to rehearse with the steel pan ensemble, which is made up of adults that work during the day.  The rest of the time other than the performances, we are going to have some great summer fun.  

College students on this trip may also be required to serve as chaperones and coaches for the younger students especially for the rehearsals and performances.  Although there will be plenty of parents on this trip, the college students can also assist them in looking after the children and youth. 

A lesson for college students: When writing a proposal (for funding or whatever), you should state what the expectations of results of the project.  The results we can expect from this great collaboration are as follows: 

 More Jamaican children, youth, and college students will become interested in playing musical instruments where many of their parents may invest in music lessons, camps/workshops, and instruments, 

 More Jamaican and U.S. music students will want to major (or minor) in music in college, 

 More Jamaican and U.S. college music majors could play in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica in the future starting off as volunteer interns, which would be a part of their training, 

 More  Jamaican citizens will want to attend concerts of the POJ and its youth orchestra programs, 

 Government, arts, tourism, music promotion officials in Jamaica will want to promote and support all of POJ's programs, which could attract corporate donors (Total Oil Company comes to mind), 

 More orchestra students from the U.S. will want to come to Jamaica to take part in POJ's youth orchestra programs; college students could come and serve as volunteer interns in POJ (as collegiate artists-in-residence), and take part in any student exchange programs Jamaica’s colleges may offer, which will look good on their resumes. 

 This could be the start of a true pan-Caribbean, even a pan-African youth and collegiate symphony orchestra program, which will attract student musicians from all over the world especially in the African Diaspora.  It can gain international recognition and respect. 

 Youth orchestra programs on the continent of Africa will sprout up, build, and flourish. 

 Live orchestras could record with popular recording artists.   

 The youth orchestra program could record songs that could become hits (even earn national and international music awards).  Music videos could also be made of these songs.   

 College students can network and pursue and create many opportunities for careers in orchestral music on the international scope.  This also goes for high school students bound for college. 

We are looking forward to having your students on this trip.  I have attached an Application for each of them to complete and turn in to me (or to you to send to me).  If you would like to go on this tour, you are certainly invited.  Here is our contact information: 

David E. Robinson III, founder & director (404) 944-9567 E-mail: stillwaters690@gmail.com 

Alycia Robinson, operations director (404) 428-3804 E-mail: alycia@sinfo-nia.com 

Our website is www.sinfo-nia.com.  You may also find us on Facebook – “Sinfo-Nia” (Musician/Band) where you will see some of our videos.  We can also be found on YouTube…and on rapper 50 Cent’s Instagram (we performed for him twice).  Also on YouTube, look up Keisha Jackson and One Voice Music Group where you will see some exciting videos of Sinfo-Nia performing with them.  Keisha is a famous singer and the daughter of another famous singer, Millie Jackson.  We also performed a music video with Ashanti Floyd, also known as "The Mad Violinist" on his composition, "Battle Field," which is also on YouTube. 

Your prompt reply will be appreciated as we have some deadlines for a deposit, payment schedule, passport information, itinerary, and so on.  .  I have attached an Application for each of them to complete and turn in to me (or to you to send to me).  If you would like to go on this tour, you are certainly invited.  Have a wonderful day.    

Sincerely, David & Alycia Robinson



Orchestral Musicians, you are cordially invited to Sinfo-Nia's         PERFORMANCE TOUR IN JAMAICA JULY 2-12, 2017 

Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra Summer Academy musicians have been invited by the directors of two youth orchestra programs in Jamaica.  Sinfo-Nia is inviting other young orchestra students from high schools, middle schools, and colleges from the U.S.  We will make up a national delegation of musicians that will collaborate with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), and perform a variety of multicultural music, especially the reggae and calypso music of Jamaica.  A steel pan ensemble in Jamaica is scheduled to join us.  This will certainly be an exciting, jammin,' orchestra jamboree that could make history.  For those interested in this tour, please contact Mr. & Mrs. David Robinson at the number below.  Details on price, payment schedule, itinerary, attire, airlines, accommodations, performances, sight-seeing, excursions, fellowship, outreach, fund raising ideas (group and individual), and details will be given.   

Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra was founded in 1990 by its director, Mr. David Robinson III.  Sinfo-Nia has traveled throughout the U.S. and twice to West Africa. Last summer Sinfo-Nia celebrated its 26th Anniversary in concert featuring the music of Prince.  Sinfo-Nia will be scheduling annual trips to the Caribbean Islands (a different one each year) – the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, etc.  During last school-year Sinfo-Nia's adult alums performed two promos for rapper, 50 Cent on his hit tune, “Big, Rich Town” from the television show, “Power.”  He pulled out his cellphone, recorded it, and put it on his Instagram page.  Earlier this school-year Sinfo-Nia also performed and recorded some music videos with world-renown singer, Keisha Jackson, daughter of world renown singer, Millie Jackson.  Her chorale called One Voice Music Group was also featured on these videos, which can be found on YouTube.  Sinfo-Nia has other videos on YouTube as well as its Facebook page - "Sinfo-Nia" (Musician/Band).

 www.sinfo-nia.com ◊ (404) 328-0840 E-mail at info@sinfo-nia.com 

NOBLE Celebrates Presidents' Day


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Jack Perlstein with Judith Still, Part 2 - Judith Still talks about some of her father’s music played on "From the Top" a few weeks ago.


Judith Anne Still

Judith is the daughter of African-American composer William Grant Still.  Her mother, Verna Arvey, was the composer’s wife, librettist, and publicist.   Verna Arvey was white and Jewish - which presented some challenges along the way.  Judith talks about some of the prejudice she and her family faced.

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at AfriClassical.com, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, http://www.CasaMusicaledeLerma.com

WMUK

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

February 17, 2017

Jack Perlstein writes to Judith Anne Still, daughter of William Grant Still:

Hi, Judy.  The Symphony No. 2 is airing right now. I aired 2 more excerpts from our interview of 2 weeks ago.  You can go to WMUK.org and find a link to the interview segments. Just click on your father's picture.  There are also pictures of your mother and you (one I took when we were together last March).

Thank you, Judy.  I enjoy our relationship so much, and working on all this with you.


Jack