CMEA blows own trumpet

Cayman Music and Entertainment Association hasn’t been one to blow its own trumpet about its work lately but that’s all about to change, if it’s to stay relevant.

Its current president, well-known musician and media personality, Barrie Quappie, is perfectly placed to comment on the direction the organisation will take in the months to come. ‘We are aiming to build on the successes brought into being by our past president, David Martins, while striking out in related directions for the betterment of music in Cayman,’ she told the Caymanian Compass.

Foremost in this new presidency, the CMEA is keen to promote its work in spearheading educational awareness within the local music scene.

This, Mrs. Barrie said, can largely be achieved by better educating its own members in various aspects of the industry music scene in general. It is hoped that this will raise Cayman’s music profile.

Not only will CMEA continue to part-sponsor members to attend seminars both at home and abroad on all aspects of musicianship like copyrighting material, working up contracts and educational aspect.

Members who have been sponsored to attend seminars are now required to share such information with the rest of the membership. Not only has this proved very popular but it has also led to members wanting the organisation to have access to greater resources for the advancement of music in Cayman. To this end the association is looking into increasing its stock of educational materials to broaden musicians’ technical competency in their craft. In turn it is anticipated that this will lead to a better music product for all.

Another path CMEA’s education remit is taking them is the assistance it readily gives to those in the community who wish to promote musicianship at all levels.

Schools that have directly benefited from music grants from the association are George Hicks High School and St. Ignatius music departments. Thanks to one-off gifts to the schools GHHS has been able to buy more wind instruments and St. Ignatius has added to its stock of trombones.

Another aspect of the association’s remit it wants to highlight is its advisory role with the Immigration Department.

In trying to raise the profile and quality of the musical product in Cayman, Immigration seeks to ensure music performed by visiting artists is suitable for audiences in Cayman. To that end the department has been working in partnership with the CMEA, whose members provide research and any other background information known to them.

Recently, Barrie Quappie says that a number of promoters have referred to a number of issues of common interest they wish to discuss with CMEA about the staging of concerts.

Given this increased dialogue, Barrie Quappie thinks that it may not be too far off from the association expanding to include a promoters’ sub-committee in much the same way the Cayman Islands Tourism Association is an umbrella organisation for the various on-island tourism bodies.

Another exciting development is the Department of Tourism’s support in retuning and re-energising the association’s website to become a far reaching resource tool.

The updated website will allow local bands to include brief biographies and other details such as where they perform, contact and web referral information.