British solo cellist, Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and founder of the In Harmony Education programme, Julian Lloyd Webber, was one of the special guests of the ABYSO for its Playing to Inspire week of activities 2019. Julian met with the Board of Directors of the ABYSO to share insights on the process and challenges of establishing a successful, sustainable orchestra from his experience. The meeting was joined by the Honourable Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts in the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
The meeting was extremely interactive and useful to the Board as the ABYSO continues to chart its medium to long-term development programme. Among the areas discussed were the structure of the ABYSO Beginner and Junior programmes which will serve as feeders for the ABYSO and ways to secure the services of professional musicians and music educators to visit Antigua and Barbuda from time to time to offer master classes for short to extended periods of time. Julian indicated his willingness to serve as an adviser on the ABYSO Advisory Committee when established.
Julian was accompanied to Antigua by his wife, cellist Jiaxin Cheng and their daughter Jasmine.