Janice Millington Gone NOT Forgotten

music1BU received the following message from W.Gibson and have to concur there is a paucity of information to be found about Janice Millington online although there is exhaustive references to her writings to support research. For someone who made […]a significant contribution to developing local musicians this is unfortunate.

I was wondering why, ten years after the death of noted Barbadian musician and teacher Janice Millington, not a word has been said about her life, death or legacy by anyone.  I did a web search and could not even find her photograph.  As one of her former students I find this appalling and regretful.  For a country that speaks so much about cultural industries it is shameful that we do not have a museum or gallery dedicated to preserving the memories of those practitioners and pioneers in music and music education like Janice.

I hope this is a thread you can somehow make worthwhile.  I distinctly remember persons like Boo Husbands, Nicholas Brancker, Alison Hinds, Andre Woodvine, Arturo Tappin, Terencia Coward, Rupert Clarke and many others sending tributes at her funeral, but nothing exists, except a portrait at the Frank Collymore Hall, that suggests her 40 years of excellence is respected by her compatriots.

Can you start a tribute or discussion about her work?


  • W.Gibson there is a Barbados website now catering for such, its new but people are already placing their loved ones on it, maybe her family will have her their, oh the site is http://www.classimax.com/obituary


  • Is this what W. Gibson is looking for?

    He is suggesting as a country we have not done enough to promote her body of work, her contribution to music.


  • How about creating a Barbados Museum with sections for Music,Art, Books etc.

    Maybe some of our brainiacs can create an online museum.


  • David, I am absolutely surprised by this commentary because I do not pay great attention to the arts and music but based on the names mentioned as giving tributes to Ms Millington and further considering her family lineage with a father, James Millington, who was also a heavyweight in music education I would expect more was already done.

    Despite our lack of financial heft and lack of tradition with museums to the arts/music/drama I still anticipated that the relevant authorities had created suitable ‘memorials’ to these giants.

    This is strange and frankly can only be considered as a lack of intent, disagreement on how to proceed or petty jealousies.

    So Mr Gibbons, if this is the journalist, and others need to drive it forward and bring the needed PPP/Gov’t partnership to fruition to look seriously at establishing historical reference materials to Janice and James Millington and Dr. Flectcher and Mr. Jones and Richild Springer and the several other musicians and artists who laid the foundation for the stars like Arturo, Branker, Woodvine, Allison, Sean Jackson and others.

    As noted above a first step can surely be an online reference museum of life stories, some pics from family albums, videos of performance, mp3 segments of their music and of course comments from former students now current leaders and teachers and so on.

    Gibbons rightly says, It is ” appalling and regretful… [that we do] not have a museum or gallery dedicated to preserving the memories of those practitioners and pioneers in music and music education” and may I add, arts and drama overall.

    This lack of vision goes to the grain of who and what we are…it is ridiculous to simply dismiss and forget how the legacy and focus on music/arts education has been a tremendous benefit to our country and how it can continue to be an awesome advantage going forward as we promote those who paved the way.


  • No this is not Gibbons the journalist.


  • @ de Ingrunt Word,

    My comment above was made in the hope that someone would see the possibilities for an Online Museum.


  • I remember a Janice Millington who taught music at Harrison College.
    It was only by stumbling through past postings on BU that I discovered that Tank Williams had passed on and today I see a “tribute’ to Janice Millington.
    I cannot comment on the quality of the teachers at HC/QC today, but during my days there, we were blessed with excellent teachers.
    Yes, these folks are gone but not forgottent
    One can only hope that these teachers are given some form of recognition for the services they provided over numerous years.


  • Observer

    Brother even though the teachers of yesterday were dedicated and devoted men and women who took their profession quite serious, we cannot help but to decry the teaching-strategies their employed to achieved their objectives. The brutalization of an innocent child who may have had some form of intellectual-disability in a given area of academics; to inculcate learning must be met with an affront because it was wrong upon reflection and scientific knowledge. But our dedicated and devoted educators ought not to take full blame for physically abusing the pupils of yesterday because their were ignorant of the psychological and emotional consequences of their actions.


  • Observer
    Mr. John Sealy who is or was the chief editor at Nation Newspaper some years ago, was a primary school teacher of mine, and even though I respect the man, I still cannot help, but to deplore the teaching -strategies he employed some four-decades ago to instill what he may have perceived as hard headed pupils, though some may have had an intellectual-inefficiency.


  • @ W. Gibson,

    Music education (instrumental) at all secondary schools,today, was due to the boldness and persistence of Janice’s father James Millington, and the foresight and persistence of Major Noot at C’mere,despite the obstacles that were put in their way. He chose the first group of five young students at Caw’mere to teach to play the violin. My brother Willis was one of those. (He went on to complete his Masters in Music at John’s Hopkins Peabody Conservatory of music), Tony Clarke,(who went on to be First Violin with the Calgary Symphony. Dalton Davis, Charlie Skeete (the Economist) and someone else, led the way. The success of that group started the ball that has led to the formation of the Barbados Youth Orchestra. and a school orchestra at the secondary schools. Janice carried on the tradition at Harrison college; much later, and her son Rafe Robertson (I think. or is it ….Montgomery? ) carries on the tradition as a jazz pianist.
    Much respect to Janice.


  • @Mr. Gibson,
    I remember the other student now, he is James Williams the husband of ‘Dr, Marion Williams, former Governor of the Central Bank That first group of young students were an example of James Millington’s foresight and forward looking. They all turned out to be a great credit to their school and country. I should add (personal note of pride) my brother came under the tutelage of the illustrious Ithzak Pearlman. Death came to him too soon.


  • @Alvin

    Thanks for your intervention.


  • David, Mr Gibson has touched on an important point and as one reflects on Cummings’ point above I am again shell-shocked that the NCF as the leader of cultural awareness in Barbados does not have at least an online reference to all this and more.

    If this is not the mandate of the NCF then the Min of Culture needs to rectify this glaring omission.

    We laud and pompesete re Rhianna’s accomplishments in the pop-music industry and without taking anything away from her lovely stardom it is a travesty that the historical foundations of Barbados’ music pioneers is a story untold or un-researched.

    I am reminded of a book which chronicled the life and times of key educators in Barbados. I do not recall the author as I write but his very useful book provided important details on the men and women who became leaders in local education and plugged a gaping reference hole which our Ministry either has no desire or ability to fill.

    It would appear that this ‘music’ hole will have to be filled in a similar way by an enterprising scholar/author. There is much to be told here.


  • David

    I do know where or how you arrived at the notion that Alvin was intervening in anything. All I saw from Alvin was a contribution of his knowledge which added great insight to the dicussion here.


  • David

    I do know where or how you arrived at the faintness notion that Alvin was intervening in anything here. All I saw from Alvin was a contribution of his knowledge which added greater insight and a little more depth to the dicussion. The word Intervention means to come between people of things so as to prevent or alter a situation. There was any need of intervention on the part of anyone here because what I have stated above hold true for thousands of individuals who were educated at a time when educators in Barbados and elsewhere in the Caribbean thought is acceptable to physically assaulted innocent children to instill education, no matter the results. I have a deep admiration and a lasting respect for all the teachers who taught me from the primary to secondary level, but I still stand by the belief that the methodologies their employed to achieved their ends were primitive and barbaric. If the belt was employed in the school environment back in the day to achieved a certain level of discipline, then why is it that the same belt isn’t needed in the military environment to achieved that same level of discipline?


  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ Domps

    Your cry is evident in your statement “the brutalization of an innocent child who may have had some form of intellectual-disability in a given area of academics…”

    Sometimes when we sit back and remove the various masks that we wear we see the terror and anguish that our antiquated educational system has inflicted on the less fortunate among us those who would have been geniuses were it not for the fact that their parents could not afford glasses for their myopia and those who more frequently were dyslexic or had Attention Deficit Disorder both of which, in other climes, still give untrained teachers a problem to first of all identify and more importantly, cope with.

    I see in your plea and fixation on John Sealy an impassioned plea for others who like you may have had “learning” challenges when you were younger in this cuntry which frankly Mr Fenty, has not moved too far away from where you left in 40 years ago.

    That you have sought religiously to address the shortcomings of you education and the sufferings at the hands of local educators is a commendable thing to say the least.

    As humans go, we are the most unkindest bast on the face of this planet (double superlative for emphasis not to aggrandize self) and many times people will pick at your grammar etc but the ole man will caution you in the classic bajan saying “you got to pick sense from foolishness”

    BU, can be seen a budding Plutarch Academy, where people of all walks of life come to see, read and educate themselves, in this rapid assimilation academy, the Rum Shop of Cyberspace!! (When I say that some come to educate themselves all excluding our ignoramus politicians)

    There is something that you do which you need to stop, it is called “obsequious misdirection”

    You often will observe two bloggers “talking among themselves” and because you do recognise the import of the topic, and the mastery of the proponents of that topic, you choose one person and then try to “insert yourself into the dialogue” trying to give weight to one, against the other, ergo obsequiousness – as you did with the word intervention vis a vis our Blogmaster and Alvin Cummins.

    The fact is that your own circumstances, while an aside to the topic of us as a society not having accorded the respect due to the musico extraordinaire Ms. Janice Millington, merit discussion.

    You sought to hijack (misdirect) the topic to yourself, even though you did share a veryyyy salient and revealing point, yet it looses its bite and in many other circumstances tends to backfire BECAUSE by inserting yourself in that dialogue, irrespective of the value of your point, it becomes evident to readers what you are doing and ends up making you seem to be brown-nosing

    DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS IMMEDIATELY. Step back read it about 5 times and if what I am saying makes sense work on incorporating it into your future submissions.


  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    Ms. Janice Millington was an accomplished musician.

    As a black woman she was a Nubian Princess

    AND she said what was on her mind to ANYONE, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHO YOU WERE!!

    I state these three things in this order and now will embellish each one to make my points

    Have you ever seen Ms. Millington play a piano??

    She floated across the keyboard with such pizazz and panache and that breeded grudge among many of her peers.

    As a black woman, she was statuesque and had a form that many desired BUT could not have, she choose her mates with care.

    Because Donna is here the ole man will not elaborate but Bush Tea and Hants and that prevert (note that I did not say pervert) that PREVERT BAFFY would as man have an appreciation for.

    That did not earn her many female admirers among her female peers

    And finally, Ms. Millington DID NOT SUFFER FOOLS GLADLY!!!

    That statement like the subsuming overarching superset in a Venn Diagram DID NOT MAKE HER MANY FRIENDS!!

    Now we are in Bulbados where it is fashionable to brown-nose to get where we want to go.

    Do you think that, IRRESPECTIVE OF the indisputable veracity of the first statement that Ms. Millington is going to have many male or female champions who will speak affably and honourably of her accomplishments?



  • Commander in Chief aka -Prankster the Mankster eating Mangoes sunnyside up and egging off while Alfing around to the Max

    Both at Crumpton Street and Cave Hill, JM-R was a challenge to deal with as a teacher. She was always pleasant to me , however, and I admired her while others feared her and many a boy put down his instrument because of that fear.


  • are-we-there-yet

    Alvin Cummins;

    Very valuable comments above but some minor corrections (additions) for the record only. The Williams man who is married to Dr Marion Williams is CQ Williams, not James Williams.

    I think the person who completed the group of Combermere students who excelled in or contributed greatly to the music scene in Barbados and to some extent regionally, was the late Jeff Garvey. Jeff’s forte at that time was Bass and Keyboard playing. He led a some popular bands in Barbados in the sixties and used his early training in music at Cawmere to great advantage.

    Thanks for the info on Dalton Davis, I did’nt know that he was a violinist, just a true brainiac, vociferous exponent of Black empowerment and rum drinker extraordinare.

    Sorry for butting into the conversation.

    Should we say “excuse me ….” when butting into a conversation?


  • @Alvin,

    Miles Robertson is the son of the late Janice Millington. He is “famous” on the world stage as a Keyboardist and musical director for Adele and as a musical director for Alicia Keys.

    Miles’ father is Raf Robertson, a Trinidadian pianist, composer, arranger, teacher and producer,


  • One way to raise the money for a Barbados Museum of Creative Arts would be to have a

    concert or series of concerts with appearances by our best musical talents including

    Miles Robertson, Arturo, Nicholas Brancker, Alison Hinds….


  • @Are-we-there-yet

    Thanks for your intervention as well.


  • I hope this isn’t the same W. Gibson that went to the principle to get the selfsame Ms Millington fired! What the difference a death makes to an opinion. I focus on the message on not the messenger though and maybe some sort of something in order. I feel like it should involve her family though, to keep things respectful. Mrs Robertson was a character and I really wouldn’t want her embarrassing me from the grave over a statue.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Are we there etc.
    I was not too sure of C.Q Williams and I might be mistaken about him, but I was making reference to the original five violinists chosen by James Millington. Anyhow that is a moot point.
    I am also thankful to Hants for correcting me about Raf Robertson. Yes upon reflection Janice’s son is Miles Robertson, I knew there was a connection with Raf Robertson. Yes Miles is a jazz pianist/keyboardist extraordinaire.
    We, for a small country, produce winners in every field.


  • @Remember Well, its intriguing that a discussions with a key thrust as “can [we] start a tribute or discussion about her work?” evolved into your comment about erecting “a statue”.

    I am intrigued because I can’t see how a statue of Janice Millington or anyone else really would serve as a suitable tribute to her musical life or could be used as a motivational tool for those involved in the music and arts locally.

    This is a modern time with dynamic technology available that brings everything to life ; thus any tribute to a musician should at least replicate some of the rich, thrilling rhythms of their music. Not so?

    Statues are so 19th century don’t you think! LOL


  • There is a Janice Millington scholarship at BCC.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Alvin Cummins August 18, 2015 at 4:05 PM
    “We, for a small country, produce winners in every field.”

    Now, is that so? I guess every Jamaican would say the same thing.
    Barbados is known for one thing and one person: Cricket and Sir Garry. But here of late you have another ‘great ‘piece of talent to brag about in the person of Rihanna. They both have achieved international success and acclaim in spite of their so-called limited educational achievements. What has happened to those other outstanding ‘book-learnt Bajan scholars’ over the years?

    Oh AC, have you ever heard of Eric Edwards? It is said he has the largest and most valuable collection of West African artifacts just looking for a home in the Diaspora.

    How about the NCF doing like Sir G and Mademoiselle Ri Ri by “internationalizing” its mandate in sponsoring and promoting an exhibition for the next ‘Crop Ended’ festival to show off the hoarding talents of a true ‘Bajan Yankee?


  • @ Miller
    Boss, where the hell you been hiding…? Time to get back to BU hear? Since you have been off AC doing dixie bout here – like she own the damn blog….
    Shiite man! she is behaving like devil grass…. the more you whack it, the uglier it grows… 🙂

    PLEASE… you may be our last hope to get this witch under some kind of control…. otherwise Bushie will have to resort to the damn roundup yuh….

    Help we nuh!!!


  • @Miller,
    Seems like you have been living in some sort of cave for most of your life and just came out
    How could you in all seriousness say something like: Barbados is known for one thing and one person: Cricket and Sir Garry. But here of late you have another ‘great ‘piece of talent to brag about in the person of Rihanna. They both have achieved international success and acclaim in spite of their so-called limited educational achievements.I hesitate to correct you because it is better to let persons stew in their own sauce.
    Where ignorance is bliss, its folly to be wise.
    I’ll let others take you apart.


  • I, too, found great difficulty finding her picture when I was doing a facebook post only days ago. She was a Pianist of immense talent. I sat mesmerized in the Frank Collymore Hall when she accompanied John Fletcher’s Sine Nomine Singers some years ago. some of the music was difficult for the uninitiated, but Janice played it flawlessly.


  • Was James Millington ever a teacher at HC? because that would make him the father of Neville. Peter and Philip Millington who were also gifted musicians, and husband of the Mrs Millington who taught at Foundation for years. Too much of a coincidence for them not to be closely related. Miles Robertson, Janice’s son was accompanist for Adele, of recent Grammy fame, although I don’t think he is still with her.

    Oh, and btw, @Alvin, I seem to recall that Marion William’s husband was CQ Williams who sat alongside me at HC.


  • He was a music master at Combermere.


  • Here we are, talking positively about our old teachers. Do you think this generation will talk about Mary Redman and her followers in the same way?


  • Janice MIllington was the best teacher I ever had. Brilliant, beautiful, inspiring. It still hurts that she is gone.


  • Dalton Davis was not a violinist in James Millington’s time at Weymouth.There was Colin Allman,Tony Clarke,Gus Brathwaite,Dorian Whittington,Willis Cummins,Charlie Skeete,Klensil Waterman and Neville Rudder.Some others had short lived membership of the class and one in particular Desmond Jones had a spectacular exit when he was caught red handed by ‘Shakespeare’ strumming the violin accompanied at the piano by Delise Nicholls.


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