Recording Studio and equipment

The Anguilla Music Academy, which at first was a dream of the founder and passionate musician, Mr. Darius James, has become both a miracle and a reality with its official opening on Monday, November 25.

It is a world-class recording studio featuring some of the best equipment on the market along with classrooms where Anguillian children can learn music playing, composition and singing at the very best.

Mr Darius James

Premier Banks

Mr Perin Bradley

Many children in Anguilla already benefitted from the Academy in its formative years, and owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. James, formerly a Commonwealth of Dominica national, who made Anguilla his home in 2008, settled down with his family and founded the Academy.

The Anguilla Music Academy, located on the top floor of the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla in the western end of the island, is a welcome project involving Mr. James; the Grammy Museum Foundation which groups some of the most notable Grammy Award winners in the United States; and the Sheth Sangreal Foundation represented by Mr. Brian Sheth and his wife.

Mr. and Mrs. Sheth

Acting Governor, Mr. Perin Bradley, who is closely acquainted with Mr. James and the Music Academy, said in part: “It has been an absolute pleasure for me to see the Anguilla Music Academy grow from strength to strength under the leadership and direction of Darius. I would also like to offer a warm Anguillian welcome to Brian and his wife, the benefactors of the Anguilla Music Academy. Without your generous support we would not be here today.

“Our youth will now be exposed to a whole new world of creative opportunities that might not have existed were it not for this facility. Beyond creating and producing music, there will be opportunities to learn computer coding, music production and other avenues for using creative talents. For a young developing island, like Anguilla, the economic potential for the Music Academy is priceless.”

Premier Victor Banks, who also has a close affinity with the founder and the Academy, said: “The Anguilla Music Academy started from an idea of Darius, and we go back a long way in seeing this project come to fruition. But an idea cannot stand alone. It must have support. People like Joe Watson [of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation] got on board with Darius to give some substance to the idea to make it work – and behind Joe, the Sangreal Foundation – and of course Mr. and Mrs. Sheth. The technical personnel were also involved to make this happen. It goes to show that although everything begins with an idea, it takes a lot of collaboration to make it work.”

Premier Banks stressed that everything that was promised about the Music Academy had now exceeded the expectations of the ideas that were put forward for the projects. He took the opportunity to welcome to Anguilla Mr. and Mrs. Sheth; the Grammy Museum personnel; and all the others who came to the island for the opening of the Academy and to celebrate Thanksgiving.

There were also remarks by Ms. Rita George, Chief Operating Officer of the Grammy Museum Foundation; James and Scott, Technical Directors; and Mr. Joe Watson and Mr. Brian Sheth of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. They spoke about their pleasure in being involved in the Anguilla Music Academy and the musical lives of the children of Anguilla.

Oris Smith and James in recording studio

Scott and James

Mr. Darius James, the energetic career musician and founder of the Academy, delivered the Vote of Thanks with a great deal of exertion. He was indebted to Mr. Brian Sheth, whom he met five years ago, for his assistance from the Sheth Foundation – and a long list of persons from the Grammy Museum Foundation, the Government of Anguilla and others for their cooperation in helping to make the Anguilla Music Academy an astounding reality.
The opening ceremony was followed by an extensive tour of the Academy which left all of the guests in a state of awe and great appreciation. In addition to serving as an ultra modern recording studio and musical classroom facility, the spacious halls will provide opportunities for wedding events, receptions and other large-scale social activities.