Governor-General Sir Colville Young and Chairman Joel Nagel Announce Establishment of BAPA

Belize Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, recently joined Caye International Bank Chairman Joel Nagel to announce the launch of a collaborative effort to bring first-class music education and performances to Belize through the establishment of the Belize Academy of the Performing Arts (BAPA).
Chairman Joel Nagel and Sir Colville Young

Chairman Joel Nagel and Sir Colville YoungWhile Belize is known for many things such as its beautiful beaches and strategically located financial institutions, it tends to be less known for classical music performances—until now. Belize Governor-General  Sir Colville Young recently joined Caye International Bank Chairman Joel Nagel to announce the launch of a collaborative effort to bring first-class music education and performances to Belize through the establishment of the Belize Academy of the Performing Arts (BAPA).

The goal of BAPA is to expose Belizeans to musical excellence and engender not only an appreciation for classical music but also an interest in learning and developing local musical talent.

 

Governor-General Young, who will serve as BAPA’s honorary chairman, said that he is working around the clock to secure donations to cover the costs of musical instruments for all children, regardless of their ability to pay. The Governor-General said that he has made it his personal goal to encourage an appreciation for classical music in Belize. Joel Nagel said that he is focused on securing public and private sector funding to cover the costs of establishing and operating BAPA.

Belize Is Ready to Develop Its Own Musical Identity

Chairman Nagel said that BAPA will be able to develop an exclusively Belizean symphony with the support it is set to receive from Germany, the United States, Austria, and Taiwan. A considerable sum of funds will be allocated to the development talent to form a local base of professional musicians available to join the symphony. Nagel observed that the only way for BAPA to sustain itself going forward is by cultivating musical potential among young people in school.

BAPA will be managed by distinguished Austrian musician Peter Illavsky. Illavsky said he is very excited to be a part of the academy and that Belize has a tremendous amount of diverse musical potential. Immigrants to Belize brought with them a rich tapestry of musical styles and influences, and Illavsky believes that BAPA can help channel those influences into a professional musical establishment. He noted that the only thing really missing was the infrastructure to be able to harness that talent into a national musical identity. He hopes that BAPA will serve as a tool to change that. 

BAPA staff will include professional performers and teachers from Mexico, Europe, and the United States who will help cultivate Belize’s organic talent into full-time professionals. In the meantime, Illavsky is already visiting high schools in San Pedro Town and Belize City where he has been talking about the academy and generating interest in the orchestra.

 

About Peter Illavsky

Illavsky began his musical career with the Vienna Boys Choir. He went on to become a much sought-after musician, performing with internationally prominent figures such as Zuben Mehtah and Placido Domingo. Belize will not be the first place that Illavsky has succeeded in developing a local professional orchestra. He had been in charge of a similar effort in South Africa in the 1990s. 

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