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AASF receives a generous donation from TD Musicounts for Educational Program

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  • We’re so excited to announce that Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2022 @MusiCounts TD Community Music Program! Learn more about how MusiCounts and TD are helping communities like ours meet the unique needs of young people:

AASF announces "Make Music Mine" Concert series starting in 2023




April 4th, 2023

Through the support on TD Canada Trust and the Toronto Arts Council the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund has embarked on a new project called "Make Music Mine" which will be delivering free concerts featuring artists from the African Dispora to families living in low-income regions of Toronto's West End.

"The Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund have been staging concert productions and events in Toronto over the past 18 years to promote young and established artists from our community as well as cultivate a black audience. At our events we feature musicians of colour performing music in a wide variety of genres including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Latin, Calypso, African, Indian, R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, and Spoken Word.

We are focused on preserving the legacy of Black musicians' contributions to music in Canada and reaching a broader audience.

The theme of our organization and events is a phrase that was coined by the late Archie Alleyne "Without The Past There Is No Future" meaning that the next generation cannot go far without taking the knowledge from their elders (past).

We strongly believe that all musical art forms are valid but there is an imbalance in perception right now in terms of what is Black music and what Black musicians are capable producing, so we want to use our platform as a vehicle to promote a broader picture of the diversity of music that comes out of our community and to engage our community in the process.

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Feb 18th, 2022

Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund recipient William Leathers has been appointed principal trumpet of the Nashville Symphony, following a successful audition in early February.

William, a Canadian trumpet player originally from Mississauga, is a student at the Julliard School.
He has performed with several orchestras including the combined orchestra of The Royal Academy and Juilliard, in which he played principal trumpet at BBC Proms in 2019, and with The Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2020, where he played principal trumpet in Mahler’s 5th Symphony. He is a member of a brass quintet, known as Brass22 and he has also performed with the American Brass Quintet.

William has performed across Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and the Caribbean earning awards and accolades as he gained increased notoriety. He has won concerto competitions as a trumpeter and a pianist.

He is the fourth Canadian classical trumpeter to attend Juilliard. William is an inaugural Fendi Vanguard Award recipient at Juilliard and a 2021 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award winner. Now in the last year of his undergrad at Juilliard, he was recently accepted into the accelerated BM/MM program. He is a student ambassador and a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship at the Juilliard School.

William Leathers is a Bach Artist.

Thomas Francis named Professor at Humber College

William Leathers has been appointed principle trumpet of the Nashville Symphony

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Dec 20th, 2021

Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund recipient Thomas Francis is one of Toronto's leading pianists well known for his extensive background in jazz and soul-based music. In 2017 he graduated from York University with a masters degree in Composition and September 2021 was named as a professor in the Humber College Music Program teaching a new subject focused on the relationship between jazz and hip-hop called "Hip Hop: A Study of Blackness"

Isaiah Gibbons featured house drummer in new Amazon series "Last One Laughing Canada"

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Jan 15th, 2022

Archie Alleyne Scholarship Award recipient Isaiah Gibbons has been a in-demand drummer, producer engineer and songwriter since he graduated from the Humber College Music Program. He was chosen by the late Archie Alleyne to take over the drummer chair for his hard-bop band prior to his passing. His debut with Kollage was on their 2017 release "No Fuss No Muss. Isaiah has been touring with a variety of acts throughout the US and Canada, was in the cast of Disney Channel's series"Rocky Horror Picture Show".

In the world of TV, He was hired by Orin Isaacs to be the drummer in the house band of CTV’s The Launch Season Two. work with incredible musicians and artists, including Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Nile Rogers.

The Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund's new outreach program is providing music lessons to youth living in at-risk areas of Toronto.

The Archie Alleyne Music Academy (AAMA) and Spiders Web Youth Empowerment Centre have been working together to make music lessons available to kids since September 2021.

Believe to Achieve - Spider's Web Youth Empowerment Centre is run by Retired Canadian champion boxer and Order of Ontario recipient Charles (Spider) Jones.
His program provides mentoring on many levels and they have been doing great things and has made an impact for young kids living in the Chalkfarm Road area of Toronto. 
The Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund supplements their program by providing music education and instruments for the kids.


Archie Alleyne Music Academy partners with Spider's Web Empowerment Centre

AASF launches The Archie Alleyne Music Academy in 2021

January 26th, 2021

The newly formed Archie Alleyne Music Academy will be providing free music education for youth living in"at-risk"communities in Toronto. It was Archie's wish that one day the AASF would be in a position to be able to provide kids who are less fortunate the opportunity to receive free music lessons and experience the joy of creating music. With the support of donors like yourself  the Archie Alleyne Music Academy will be working diligently to make this a reality starting this year.

Generous Gift From a Generous Man

Financial contribution by the late Paul Lynch benefits youth for years to come


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Paul Lynch as a boy

Paul Lynch knew a thing or two about hardship. When he was still a boy, his father died, leaving his mother to raise him and his siblings on her own. Residing in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood, the Lynchs − among Toronto’s original Black families − moved across town into a Sumach Street apartment in Regent Park, at the time a new residential development taking shape in Toronto’s east end.  

Paul chummed around with brother Leith who today has fond memories of being in his brother’s company. “There wasn’t a kid we didn’t know in Regent Park,” Leith reminisced, “and if we didn’t know them, we got to know them.”

In addition to positive influences in his home, community programs at Dixon Hall and the local Boys & Girls Club were instrumental in shaping the compassionate individual Paul would grow to in adulthood. Graduating from Eastern Commerce and finding work in the beauty supply industry, Paul established a love of jazz early on. The avid reader boasted an impressive collection of vinyl as well. His musical tastes ranged from John Coltrane to Paul Robeson and the blues.      

Paul’s next employer was the City of Toronto where he remained for over three decades until retirement.

A favorite haunt of Paul’s was the Underground Railroad. Naturally, one of his favorite jazz musicians was the late jazz drummer, restaurateur, and Order of Canada recipient, Archie Alleyne. Paul made a point to patronize clubs to hear Mr. Alleyne perform.

Recalling agencies that helped him find his way in his youth, Paul gave back to the community, volunteering with various not-for-profits including the United Way, Boys & Girls Club of Regent Park and the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association of Toronto.

To Paul’s delight, his great niece, chanteuse Aijia Waithe, was a recipient of the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund. AASF was established in 2003 to provide funding for young people enrolled in post-secondary music training and education. Proud of his niece’s accomplishments, Paul became Aijia’s biggest booster.

When Paul passed away in August 2019, he bequeathed monies to several of his favorite organizations, including the Archie Alleyne Scholarship Fund. Since 2013 when Aijia was an AASF recipient, she has seen her career flourish. Asked recently about AASF’s effect on her studies, Aijia remembers, “I was working 3 jobs while being in school full-time, which was not easy. Receiving the AASF Scholarship not only provided the resources I needed, but also the moral and professional support that helped keep me grounded and focused on developing my skills and work ethic.” 

Paul Lynch’s largess will positively influence youth for years to come. His brother put it best when asked what Paul’s wish would be for youth impacted by his gift: “We grew up rough. Everything we had, we scraped for so if you can get a kid with some talent and send them to the next level, that’s what Paul would like.”

Clearly, Paul Lynch knew a thing or two about generosity, too.

AASF receives a generous donation for Girls Rock Ottawa


Sept 28th, 2020

Former AASF Board member Aisha Wickham and current Program Music Consultant at Ontario Creates kindly donated a portion of her fees from a speaking engagement for  "Girls + Rock Ottawa, a community organization that provides professional development opportunities, community engagement, and advocacy support for girls, women and gender-diverse individuals to help them gain equitable access to opportunities in music.

Thank you Aisha and Girls Rock Ottawa for your support!

AASF Bursary Recipient receives merit-based scholarship from Julliard


2017 AASF Bursary Recipient William Leathers has recently been awarded a full scholarship at Julliard through the Kovner Fellowship Program.

The Kovner Fellowship Program established by Bruce and Suzie Kovner in 2014 provides comprehensive scholarship support covering the full estimated cost of attendance to outstanding undergraduate and graduate classical music students during their degree programs at The Juilliard School. William now a Kovner Fellow will benefit not only from financial support but also from significantly enhanced programmatic content with the goal of developing future leaders in the arts. 

Kovner Fellows are chosen by the Kovner Selection Committee based on faculty recommendations and the following criteria:

  1. Artistic merit of the highest caliber

  2. A successful academic history

  3. Personal capacity for intellectual curiosity, commitment to the value of art in society, and potential for leadership in the field


There are approximately 54 Fellows at any given time, comprising both undergraduate and graduate students.

Congratulations William.

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