by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Winston ‘Zack’ Nisbett, also known as Dr Culture, is hosting his 17th Annual Musical Workshop at Zack’s Historical-cultural Library and Museum at Buckley’s Estate from July 24 to August 25.
The Workshop will include a host of activities aimed at the preservation of St. Kitts and Nevis culture through the education of children.
Some of the key activities of the workshop include;
- Cultural preservation
- Historical Research and Documentation
- Independence awareness
- Tour Guide
- Zack’s Folk Singers
- Zack’s Cultural Group
- Zack’s International String Band
The workshop’s facilitator indicated that the program is open to children between four and 12.
The one-month-long workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, and the featured tutor will be Mr Mowbey Cruse Phillip of Verchids, a longstanding musician and a vocalist for over 45 years.
In speaking with WINN on July 18, Dr Culture shared the workshop’s significance.
“Music is a universal custom, and we need to have it preserved… I put my whole life [into this]. I have all the instruments – the quatros, the banjos – and not only that. At the same time, I am using the [workshop] to capitalise [on] and to bring about a sort of awareness to our historical, cultural and social affairs. One of the things we are going to have [at the workshop] [an independence awareness exhibit] because that is significant for our independence so that we can see the people who have brought us to where we are today – the base – I have many pictures and documentation.”
The workshop participants will learn to play banjo, quarto, guitar, steel pan, fife and more culturally significant instruments. Dr Culture said part of the experience would also be focused on learning specific practices of St. Kitts Nevis’ culture, including learning not just how to play the fife but also make one from scratch and more.
“The fife has been deteriorating, so we are stepping up the fife. We are going to teach them [the children] how to make the fife – a program we initiated one time which was quite beneficial – so we’ll go back into the fife. We teach them how to bore the holes in the fife and cut the pipe – the original thing is bamboo – and each of them will have a fife of their own. They have to make their own fife. We’re going to be teaching them how to make… cassava bread. Someone will come in and teach them how to make it… how to grate the coconut, [etc.] and the Conkie as well… all of that they will be doing onsite. So it’s a comprehensive [workshop]… when they come [they] come to learn.”
A Closing Ceremony for the workshop will be held on August 26, 2023, at Zack’s Historical-Cultural Library and Museum.
Dr Culture thanked various long-standing sponsors, including Delisle Walwyn, Development Bank, Rams and others who made the workshop possible.
“I want to thank especially one who devoted [ a lot] of time and dedication to my whole [workshop], Precious Mills and also Elizabeth Lawrence; she is a piano specialist and also Carolee Boddie Atherton.”
Thirty to 35 children are expected to participate in the workshop, and Dr Culture is inviting more to come and participate. The registration is $25, and you can collect forms from either the museum or the man himself, Winston ‘Zack’ Nisbett. The deadline for submissions is July 24.
Anyone interested in having their children join the music and culture workshop is asked to call Dr Culture at 869-664-9016/663-2773.