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A journey to excellence

Published:Friday | June 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The quest for musical excellence is the hallmark of all musicians, and for singer and musician Joseph McIntyre, this goal was realised when he was awarded the opportunity to study choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

McIntyre, who left Jamaica on Saturday, June 25, to participate in the 2016 summer workshop at the prestigious college, will join a distinguished group of Jamaican musicians who have taken the Westminster journey, such as Noel Dexter, John A. Binns, Donald C. Morris, and Wayne Moore.

For his conducting audition, he will conduct the piece Salvator Mundi by Thomas LaVoy. The decision to pursue this course of study was prompted by the Reverend Dr Devon Dick, pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church and president of the Jamaica Baptist Union.




The leadership of the church then decided to invest in this nascent talent and underwrote the cost associated with the programme.

McIntyre, who currently serves the Boulevard Baptist Church as a deacon and music director, began his musical journey at the Sharon Baptist in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, and then on to the East Queen Street Baptist Church, where he worked with veteran choir masters, the Reverend J.J. Williams and the late Mavis Martin.

He also studied voice with Winston Ewart of the National Chorale of Jamaica and holds Certificate of Merit in singing (voice) from Trinity College, London.

He ascribes his passion for church music to his mentor and namesake, centenarian J.J. Williams.

Now in its 15th year, the acclaimed Westminster Conducting College is one of the leading programmes for the training of conductors in the world.

The 2016 summer workshop is a period of intensive study where participants are able to experience, in one location, eight of the world's most renowned conductors who will share their artistry and experience with participants.

Coupled with its new sister programme, The Choral Music Institute at Oxford, conductors at all levels of expertise can sharpen their pedagogical and conducting skills under the tutelage of some of the world's greatest teachers.

The programme offers selected candidates unique opportunities for professional development with one of the world's leading conducting institutions. McIntyre believes that the knowledge gained will advance the work of choral music preservation within his local church and across the Jamaica Baptist Union.

McIntyre is also the immediate past chairman of the Jamaica Baptist Union Music Committee and works with several Kingston-based choirs as guest conductor, soloist and line member.