Alpha Boys School

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Alpha Boy's School
Alpha Boys School Emblem.png
Upward and Onward

26 South Camp Road
Kingston 4

Alpha Boys School is located in Jamaica
Alpha Boys School
Coordinates 17°58′37″N 76°46′53″W / 17.9770187°N 76.7813712°W / 17.9770187; -76.7813712Coordinates: 17°58′37″N 76°46′53″W / 17.9770187°N 76.7813712°W / 17.9770187; -76.7813712
Religious affiliation(s) Christian
Denomination Roman Catholic

Alpha Cottage School (often referred to as Alpha Boys School) is a school on South Camp Road in Kingston, Jamaica, run by Roman Catholic nuns. Established in 1880 as a "school for wayward boys", it became renowned for both the discipline it instilled in its pupils and the outstanding musical tuition they received.[1]

School band[edit]

The school has had its own band since 1892, originally a drum and fife (musical instrument) corps, and later a brass band, following the gift of brass instruments from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jamaica.[1][2] The school has been credited with influencing the development of ska and reggae.[3] Notable music instructors included Lennie Hibbert, Eric Deans and Sister Mary Ignatius Davis.

The Alpha All Stars band comprises former students of the school.[4]

Alpha Wear[edit]

In April 2013, Alpha Boys School launched the Alpha Wear clothing with two designs by Michael Thompson (aka Freestylee: Artist Without Borders). Current Alpha boys screen print the shirts, package the shirts and help market, promote and ship the shirts as part of a new vocational program.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni, all musicians, include: the four founding members of the Skatalites (Tommy McCook, Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, Lester Sterling and Don Drummond),[6] Dizzy Reece, Cedric Brooks, David Madden, Theophilus Beckford, Rico Rodriguez, Eddie "Tan Tan" Thornton, Yellowman, Vin Gordon.[3] Harold McNair,[7] Joe Harriott,[7] "Deadly" Headley Bennett,[8] Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, the Israel Vibration vocal trio (Lascelle "Wiss" Bulgin, Albert "Apple Gabriel" Craig, and Cecil "Skeleton" Spence) and Leroy Smart.[1][9]

Alpha Boys School Radio[edit]

Alpha Boys' School Radio ( is a 24/7 online radio station and celebration of the legacy established by the Kingston, Jamaica-based school responsible for the education and musical development of Jamaica's premiere jazz, ska, reggae and dancehall pioneers. Featuring music performed by Alpha's incomparable alumni, including jazz stalwarts of the 1950s and 1960s like Joe Harriott and Dizzy Reece, ska pioneers The Skatalites, Cedric 'Im' Brooks and Rico Rodriguez, rocksteady innovator Vin Gordon, reggae icons Leroy Smart and Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace as well as the original King of the Dancehall, Winston 'Yellowman' Foster, Alpha Boys' School Radio is your 24/7 connection to the beat of Jamaican music.[10]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Barrow, Steve and Dalton, Peter: "Reggae: The Rough Guide", Rough Guides, 1997, ISBN 1-85828-247-0
  2. ^ History of Alpha Boys' School
  3. ^ a b Nun who nurtured reggae The Daily Telegraph, 12/01/2006
  4. ^ Walters, Basil (2014) "Doing it for Alpha", Jamaica Observer, 29 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014
  5. ^ Serwer, Jesse. "Fashion Fridays: Alpha Boys School, The Birthplace Of Ska, Gets Its Own Tshirts". Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  6. ^ The Skatalites Biography
  7. ^ a b Jamaica Observer - Jazz: What's Jamaica Got To Do With It?
  8. ^ Steve Barker on Headley Bennett's only solo album to date
  9. ^ Liner notes from the "Impressions of Leroy Smart" CD
  10. ^ Serwer, Jesse. "Large Up Recommends: Alpha Boys School Radio". Okay Player. Retrieved 21 September 2013.