Young Musician Heads off to Bass Camp - Sponsored by Divinity Roxx, Bayside Rythms and British VI - Honourable Minister Walwyn and Hon. Delores Christopher from the Fifth District - Image via Virgin Islands News Online

Young Female Bass Player, Thea Cooke Heads off to Victor Wooten Bass Camp

I remember my first Victor Wooten Bass/Nature Camp like it was yesterday. I was full of anticipation, nerves, and an indescribable FEAR! That’s pretty funny now, but I was SCARED! Vic and his camp changed my life. I think I can say that everyone who experiences Vic’s camps feel that way.

I’m honored to be a part of sending this young lady off to the same camp. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was young. She’s eager, she’s hungry and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to be a great player. I am looking forward to hearing amazing things about this young lady Theaa Cooke. May the most high continue to bless her and her family. Perhaps one day she too will pay it forward.

Stay steadfast my friend, learn as much as you can, and above all else…GROOVE!


-Opportunity comes compliments of Divinity Roxx/Bayside Rhythms/the Education Department of the BVI and was endorsed by the Honourable Minister Walwyn/ Hon. Delores Christopher from the Fifth District

See “Virgin Islands News Online” article posted July 17, 2013



For Immediate Release
Sachkia Barnes
Barnes PR / Bayside Rhythms
Road Town, Tortola – July 19 – With the support of the Government of the Virgin Islands, 15-year-old Thea Cooke is about to embark on a life changing experience as she attends the Victor Wooten Center for Music and Nature in Tennessee, USA.


Cooke, a student at the Elmore Stoutt High School plays the bass guitar. It was during a session at her school put together by Bayside Rhythms on June 7, she got to meet her musical role model, Divinity Roxx. From that meeting, the former bass player of platinum selling artist, Beyoncé Knowles, had a chance to hear Cooke play and the two developed a friendship. So impressed with young Miss Cooke, Bayside Rhythms invited her to open for Divinity at the June 8 concert.Taking an interest in Miss Cooke, Divinity recommended that she attend the well-known Victor Wooten Music Camp this summer. The artist and Bayside Rhythms producer, Wasi Philbert began having immediate conversations and sought to raise funds to finance the opportunity for Miss Cooke.
Minister of Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn said he wanted to support Miss Cooke because she represents the promise of young Virgin Islanders. “Thea’s ability at her age is extraordinary, and it really is our responsibility to nurture the talent of our young people, in the arts, sports and academics so that they can accomplish their personal goals, but also be a sound representation of who we are and what our community is capable of producing.”
Emphatic about the need to provide similar opportunities for young people in the territory, the Minister said, “When I think about the many young persons throughout the territory that are filled with talent, it reminds me that my job is to make a way so that their talent can meet the world’s stage. I’m confident that Miss Cooke will have people at that camp talking about the Virgin Islands and in a few years she will have the rest of the world wondering about Nature’s Little Secrets as well. This definitely demonstrates what our music programme at the Elmore Stoutt High School continues to do, expose our young people and consistently push out exceptional talent; those are programmes we need to look closely at to continue to support, and to also duplicate in other areas.”


Cooke’s District Representative, Hon. Delores Christopher also made a contribution towards providing this opportunity for the young musician. “I am so very proud of Thea, it just goes to show what our young people are capable of doing. It gives her great exposure as a young person. That experience at camp, she will always remember it and I’m sure she will also pass on what she will learn to others on her return.”


Very pleased about her constituent’s ability, Hon. Christopher also said that the District remains one of the most musical in the territory. “If I was supposed to trace back even to several generations, music in the Fifth is very deep. We have produced many musicians and singing groups, starting way back to fungi bands. We have Mr Darwin “Gun” Scatliffe, and in more recent times we have VI Boys, Four Strong, Extreme and a number of other bands. Music is definitely one of the strengths of the Fifth District and Thea will be representing us and the entire Virgin Islands very well.”


Philbert, producer of the successful Bayside Rhythms concert series says that he hopes out of the concerts, more young musicians in the Virgin Islands will have the opportunity to be exposed to great musicians and even consider the possibility of they themselves becoming professional musicians. “This is just one opportunity that we were very pleased to initiate and get the support of Hon. Walwyn and Christopher is making this happen, but we hope to provide similar opportunities for others. Bayside Rhythms wants to continue to provide this community with good quality musical experiences, and we also want to ensure young people like Thea get a chance to meet world renowned artists and see where with hard work and dedication, their talents can also take them.”


Philbert also thanked Divinity Roxx for her interest in local talent. “Divinity definitely had a blast when she came to perform in the BVI and I know that she will be back on her personal time to enjoy the beauty of the BVI. She is a woman of her word; she called Victor herself to tell him about Thea and made sure that he reserved his last spot for this summer’s session for her. We are all just very glad that we were able to work together to provide this opportunity for such an exceptional young musician.”


Cooke’s mother, Nicole Wheatley, who is also a well-known musician around the Virgin Islands, said she is very thankful for this opportunity for her daughter. “I’m overwhelmed by all of this for her. She has the opportunity that we older musicians didn’t have and I just want all the best for her. When she leaves I will tell her that I love her of course, but also to get the best out of this opportunity, to meet new people, and to learn as much as she can. I am very proud of her.”


Cooke will receive direct instructions from Victor Wooten. Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner and international musician. His camp primarily teaches young bass guitarist; but with hundreds of students taught to date, Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature continues to help musicians of all ages and experience levels better themselves and their music. The camp is held at Wooten Woods Retreat, the 147-acre Tennessee riverfront home of Wooten from July 22 -August 11, 2013. The camp promises to be a great experience for Miss Cooke where she will gain more knowledge about her instrument and also about the music industry.



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Just before heading off to the Victor Wooten Centre for Music camp, on Friday, July 19, 15-year old Thea Cooke stops by the office of the Minister of Education and Culture, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn. Minister Walwyn, Fifth District Representative, Hon. Delores Christopher, Bayside Rhythms and international artist, Divinity Roxx, collaborated in funding this learn opportunity for Cooke. Pictured are Minister Walwyn, Thea Cooke and her mother, Nicole Wheatley, Hon. Delores Christopher and Dalan Vanterpool of Bayside Rhythms.