School of Music head compliments first degreed female drummer
NOVEMBER 19, 2016, graduation day at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA), 1 Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew, was extra special for School of Music student Shalisha Turpin. She became the college’s first female to graduate with a degree in drumming. “It wasn’t easy,” the soft-spoken 27year-old told me in an interview which began in the music room at Holy Trinity High School, Kingston, where she has been teaching music for more than a year. It later continued under a mango tree at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Swallowfield, where Turpin has been drumming with the church band since she was 12 years old.
“A lot of people told me I couldn’t make it, including two of my lecturers at Edna Manley. At times I got very depressed and felt like giving up,” Turpin said. Then, smiling, she added, “Some persons said I should take up modelling.” Tall and slim, she does have the look of a runway model.
She continued, “But my parents, my family and my teacher (at EMCVPA), Mr Derrick Stewart, encouraged me and helped me to overcome all the negativity. Now here I am, with my bachelor’s degree in music education (BME) and a trained teacher.”
Turpin’s evident pride in her accomplishment reflected the admiration of School of Music director Roger Williams, who told me just hours before that “Shalisha is a very good drummer, very talented,
A lot of people told me I coul dn’t make it