TURPIN

Jamaica Gleaner - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL NEWS -

Han­del and Horn present Uppa Level at Vinny Samp­son place, Cheap­side. Fea­tur­ing En­ergy Zone.

Stop the Vi­o­lence Mu­sic Fes­ti­val is at Bour­bon Beach, Ne­gril. Fea­tur­ing Cul­ture, Ras Zacharri, Aba­jonai Kushites, Fi­lantro Lavah, Lexi, Clas­sic B, Chicken Hawk, Larry Smoove. Speak­ing out against vi­o­lence and pro­mot­ing ed­u­ca­tion.

Sick­quick Pro­mo­tion presents Win­ter Fresh, Clean Edi­tion at Pinto Lane, Stony Hill. Mu­sic by Coolie Hype, San Hype, KNne and DJ Baba. Give­aways: US$300, $5,000 Dig­i­cel credit,and gro­cery bags.

In­volve Mag­a­zine presents Glory Inna HalfWay Tree at Man­dela Park. A day- and-night event for the en­tire fam­ily cul­mi­nat­ing in a grand gospel con­cert, fea­tur­ing Supa and Sticko, Prodi­gal, La­toya Hamil­ton, Chozenn, Min­is­ter Blessed and many oth­ers. Adm: free.

she was the only one able to play a par­tic­u­lar rhythm the tu­tor gave the group.

“From then, I wanted to do drum­ming,” said Turpin.

Her ca­reer path proved long, wind­ing and fraught with chal­lenges. It in­cluded study­ing for two years in Ex­cel­sior Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s (ECC) Per­form­ing Arts De­part­ment, pass­ing the School of Mu­sic’s en­trance test and get­ting into the pre-qual­i­fy­ing year but then fail­ing the end-of-year, exam and hav­ing to en­rol in the school’s even­ing pro­gramme for an­other year. After that, she got into the de­gree lane – and faced an­other four years of study.

Hap­pily, Turpin’s time at ECC gave her the op­por­tu­nity to do not only mu­sic, but also dance and drama. “That helped me a lot as a per­former. That’s why I think I stand out at Edna Man­ley. It opened my cre­ativ­ity,” she said.

At the School of Mu­sic, where Turpin thought she would be con­cen­trat­ing on drum­ming, she was faced with a lot of other sub­jects. She rat­tled off some mu­sic the­ory, au­rals, sight read­ing, singing, English, Span­ish and psy­chol­ogy. And Turpin had to ac­quire a work­ing knowl­edge of nu­mer­ous in­stru­ments apart from the drums, in­clud­ing gui­tar, key­board and wind in­stru­ments (recorders, sax­o­phone, trum­pet, flute).

And that was not all. “As I am a drum­mer, I also had to do all the per­cus­sion in­stru­ments – tam­bourines, shak­ers, con­gas, tim­pani, xy­lo­phone and marimba. You had to know how to tune them, too,” she said.

Turpin man­aged to get em­ployed to Holy Trin­ity be­fore she grad­u­ated as she did teach­ing prac­tise there and, ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­pal, did “a mar­vel­lous job.” That job in­cluded ob­tain­ing (with the help of her col­league from the School of Mu­sic) J$1.3 mil­lion from the US Em­bassy to start a drum line at the school.

Holy Trin­ity’s prin­ci­pal was happy to hire Turpin last Septem­ber when a mu­sic teacher was needed, even though she still needed a sub­ject to com­plete the pro­gramme.

Since Turpin has been at the school, she has founded a school band and started both a monthly lunch-hour con­cert se­ries and an an­nual con­cert called My Dream. That name, also the ti­tle of a pop­u­lar song by dee­jay Nes­beth, un­doubt­edly ref­er­ences her longheld dream of get­ting her mu­sic de­gree.

“It was tough but I’m glad I didn’t give up,” Turpin said. Shal­isha Turpin coach­ing 13-year-old Holy Trin­ity High School grade-eight stu­dent Quonza Thax­ter as he plays a drum set at the Kingston-based school re­cently.

PHOTO BY MICHAEL RECK­ORD

Shal­isha Turpin, the first woman to grad­u­ate from the Edna Man­ley Col­lege of the Per­form­ing Arts with a de­gree in drum­ming.

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