Vision: To be a worldwide beacon for the development, promotion and research of West African music and performing arts, providing first-class tuition in modern and the indigenous African music, classical music and the performing arts for the people of Sierra Leone.
Purpose: As a center for musical arts education and entertainment we provide a platform for performance practice, training and research for the people of Sierra Leone to nurture and develop the musical talent and empower young people to develop careers both in Sierra Leone and internationally
After a talk given in Freetown in November, 1994 on the work of Professor Nicholas George Julius Ballanta (1893-1961), Sierra Leone’s famous composer, musicologist, librettist and musical thinker, the idea of establishing a musical institution was born and Dr. Kitty Fadlu-Deen and the late Mr. Logie Wright formed a group in February 1995, with the task of founding the institution. The Ballanta Academy of Music (BAM) was officially launched on October 25, 1995.
The Academy is the only institution of its kind in the nation which seeks to harness the rich musical talent in the country and also provide an opportunity for professional and technical development. It is registered with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as a Technical Vocational Institution. The board consists of a maximum of fourteen members from various walks of life and its current chairman is Mr. L.J. Tani Pratt. The Academy operates under a Board of Directors and a Management Organization.
The Academy is a company limited by guarantee without a share capital. It operates with funds generated from tuition fees, fundraising, a subvention from the government of Sierra Leone, and donations from individuals, businesses and organizations at home and abroad. Intangible support also comes from Wells Cathedral School in the UK and The British Council in Freetown
The Academy offers tuition in various music courses and is the centre for the conduct of Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) U.K. examinations in music theory and practice. The students are diverse and include children and adults. The Academy’s music education also functions beyond its four walls through its outreach programmes.
BAM is also home to several performing groups offering a wide range of musical genres which perform for the community on invitation. The Academy also initiates musical programmes and activities for the benefit of the greater community. Part of the Academy’s mission is to champion research. Work in this area produced the ‘Re-animating Cultural Heritage project and the book and DVD “Music Masks and Maestros”.