June 9, 2009 — If Stanley and his Ten Sleepless Knights have their way, quelbe music will live forever, and music scholarships to students like Sacha Alexander are one way to guarantee that.
On Tuesday, Stanley Jacobs gave a $5,000 scholarship to Sacha Alexander to help further her education in music at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
"We always have the education of students in mind," Jacobs said. The group has taught quelbe to students at St. Croix Educational Complex High School.
"Our goal is to perpetuate our music and culture," said band member Gilbert Hendricks. "The best thing we could do is try to encourage students to play music."
Alexander, who just graduated from St. Croix Educational Complex High School, is one of those students they encouraged. In fact, she already has played flute and sung with Stanley and the band over the past four years.
"I would love to one day go on tour with them," she said.
Alexander will be majoring in music education with a minor in criminal justice. She plans on getting her masters in music performance. She said she isn't sure what she wants to do once she earns her degree but she may eventually come back to St. Croix and instill the culture in young people so quelbe music will always remain.
Overall, performing in any music genre is what she loves to do most in life. She has even had the chance to perform professionally.
"I love to do anything with music — singing, dancing and playing in the Complex band," Alexander said. She said when she was younger she danced with the Caribbean Dance Company.
Alexander said her faith plays a major part in her life, leading her to sing in the Voices of Praise Community Choir and her church choir at the Frederiksted Assembly of God.
"If I didn't have God by my side, I don't think all these things would have been possible," Alexander says.
Valrica Bryson, music teacher at Complex, said Alexander exemplifies academic achievement and is extremely talented. "Sacha is a well-rounded young lady. She has the ambition and drive to be perfect and her parents support all her endeavors 110 percent," she added.
This is the second scholarship Jacobs has given to promising musicians. Last year Osvaldo Rivera got $4,000. The funds for the scholarships are raised at the traditional Old Year's Night celebration and dance at Villa Morales held the past 17 years. To make a donation, call 277-9552.
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