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  • Marcelle Smith


"My experience at Alpha has given me so many opportunities. One of my main goals is to never stop learning music."

Alpha School of Music student Leon Channer

Leon Channer is a student at the Alpha School of Music and past student at the Alpha Vocational Training Centre. As a child, growing up in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica, Leon always took an interest in music. Leon found his rhythm playing drums at his church, Innercity for Christ Ministries, and he enjoyed performing arts classes from Grade 7 to Grade 11 at Kingston Technical High School. Leon was the only student at Kingston Technical High who chose to commit to music classes past Grade 9.

After leaving high school in 2020, Leon was unsure of his path. This led to a “Gap Year” post-graduation, after which Leon enrolled in the music programme at the Alpha Vocational Training Centre from 2021-2022. During his time at Alpha, he sat the CXC English exam and passed “With Distinction”.

With two years of music training at the Alpha Vocational Training Centre complete, Leon’s journey to the Alpha School of Music was accelerated. In September 2022, he successfully auditioned to get into the School of Music with his primary instrument - drums, and received a scholarship from the Supernova International Ska Festival to support his studies.

During his first year at the Alpha School of Music, Leon enjoyed the detailed lectures in both theory and practical classes - relishing the ‘nobody left behind’ culture upheld by his instructors. Leon says he lacked confidence when he first arrived at the School of Music, but the experience has helped him to grow out of his shell. He cites the school’s practical classes, tireless practice and interacting with bandmates as key confidence-boosters both on stage and off. Now, one year away from starting the Associate Degree in Music Performance, Leon says he is honing his skills at school and performing as often as possible around town.

Leon says Alpha has reinforced his appreciation not just for learning, but for exploring music. He has his sights set on becoming a teacher or a touring musician - or maybe both. “My experience at Alpha has given me so many opportunities,” he said. “I want to travel to Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia to learn their style of music because it’s better to go to the countries to learn the rules of their music. One of my main goals is to never stop learning music.”

Alpha Boys School Radio is sponsored by Jamaica Nice. Part proceeds from the sale of every Jamaica Nice. top and accessory supports youth education and employment training. Jamaica Nice. funds music scholarships for tertiary students, workshops and educational experiences for Jamaicans at the high school and college level, teaching residencies for foreign music educators at schools in Jamaica and international exchanges for students and teachers. Click for our latest activities.


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