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Alpha Boys' School willed valuable equipment

Published:Monday | December 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM
From left: Herbie Miller, curator of the Jamaica Music Museum; three students from the Alpha Boys' School; Dereck Stewart (drummer); Sister Susan Frazer; Charles Simpson; and Lester Sterling take a look at equipment donated by the late Anthony 'Lovelock' Brown during a handover ceremony at the school last Wednesday. -Contributed

Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer

Having produced some of Jamaica's most noted musical stalwarts, the contribution of the Alpha Boys' School to the Jamaican music pantheon is both extensive and invaluable.

Alpha has produced a pervasive list of musicians who have all lent their abilities to the bolstering of the Jamaican music industry.

These musicians are or were more than grateful for Alpha's role in their lives, as was evident last Wednesday when Alpharian Charles Simpson officially handed over instruments and equipment left to the school by a fellow Alpha past student and revered jazz musician, Anthony 'Lovelock' Brown.

Brown formed the Tony Brown Orchestra in Jamaica in the 1950s and later went on to establish the Tony Brown Band after moving to England in 1960, becoming a noted jazz musician in his time.

Brown passed away in 2008 and in his will, left valuable equipment for his alma mater.

The short ceremony took place at the Alpha Boys' School and featured an intimate crowd consisting of a few past students, a few current ones and officials from the Alpha Boys' School.


The Alpha alumni all beamed with pride as they shared fond memories of their time at the school.

Items donated included keyboards, a PA amplifier, an equaliser and other state-of-the-art equipment.

Sister Susan Frazer, director of Alpha Boys' School, expressed her gratitude for the donation and also to Simpson for coordinating the effort.

"We have a large band and this will just enable us to be able to train and teach more boys. The speaker systems will also help with our performances," Sister Frazer told The Gleaner.

Sister Frazer also expressed her dream to establish a full-fledged music department at the renowned boys' school. This, she says, is a little down the road but is certainly in the works.

As a key member of the Alpha Old Boys' Association, Simpson revealed that he was contacted by Brown's children and asked to pass on the equipment to the school on behalf of the family.

According to Simpson, Brown was a part of a charity organisation in the United Kingdom which sent funds to Jamaica in a bid to aid young Alpharians leaving the school and found themselves in need of assistance.

Simpson also shared his belief that Alpha Boys' School is under-appreciated in Jamaica.

"Alpha has played a very important role in the Jamaican music industry by producing pioneers who helped develop Jamaica's first original sound and even helped to foster the evolution of Jamaican music," Simpson said.