Photo Credit: Frances Scanlon 

Alfred Music is pleased to have partnered with Milton Academy Jazz Program to support their mission of helping South African music programs that are in desperate need.

Bob Sinicrope founded Milton Academy’s jazz program in 1974 and continues to direct it today. The idea of the Milton Academy South African tours was born in 1991, when Milton Academy was fortunate to host South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim at their school. When Ibrahim heard their students perform his music, he was brought to tears and enthusiastically invited them to tour his homeland. Milton Academy’s first tour occurred in 1992, when many apartheid policies and practices were still in place. It gave Milton Academy students the opportunity to see firsthand the movement for racial equality and learn the significant role that music played in the struggle for political and social freedom. South African society was in a historic transition, moving toward the nations free democratic elections in 1994.

Over the course of Milton Academy’s many tours, they have established meaningful, ongoing connections with several South African musicians and school programs. Their latest tour (11th), Milton Academy’s jazz program toured South Africa for 17 days, where they performed with and for many township music schools in Johannesburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and Cape Town.

“Milton Academy has delivered over $205,000 worth of donated materials to needy South African township schools and Alfred Music has generously allowed us the privilege of delivering some of those donated materials on their behalf,” says Bob Sinicrope.

Sinicrope continues, “The benefits of touring are immeasurable. The musical growth that occurs during the tour is often remarkable. Performing for and with South African musicians of all ages is a profound experience and allows us to immediately to connect with people from different backgrounds. While on the road, Milton always pursues opportunities to increase students’ social awareness.”

In addition to founding and directing the Milton Academy Jazz Program, Bob Sinicrope is also a past president of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the recipient of the inaugural John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award, as well as a Downbeat Jazz Education Achievement Award.

Watch Milton Academy’s 2015 tour video below: