was not a small man in either statute or spirit. Indeed, Sydney Morris was a big man in both size and heart. He was a gentleman and also a gentleman. Knowing Sydney Morris was to be given the opportunity to get a rare glimpse into a world of sensitivity and dignity that is sadly and slowing disappearing from our world today.
In his passing, it is his presence which will be most remembered. Soft-spoken and generous, knowledgeable yet humble, he approached his students and his colleagues with respect and conveyed to all with whom he came in contact a love and appreciation of the art form which had sustained him for all of his life. With his impeccable good manners, he never forgot the niceties of his training and exuded such modesty and quiet dignity that even those given to boisterous and raucous ways were invariably calm and disarmed.
Educated in England at Trinity College he studied under one of the greatest and most innovative teachers of the 20th Century. He was always grateful and aware of how much he had benefited from that exposure. He brought to his profession a dedication and understanding which was truly admirable, and he was always ready and willing to entertain new ideas and adapt them to prevailing situations.
His contribution to the furthering of music education in Jamaica in his many spheres of influence is considerable. For example, he pioneered the training of teachers of music for secondary schools in Jamaica. He spotted, nurtured and encouraged many who have developed into great performers in various genre of music. He found places in his choirs and ensembles for several whose talents very modest, indeed but who are forever grateful for the joy they derived from the training he gave and the performances he organized. His gifts as an instrumental teacher have been acknowledged by the many students that he helped to fulfill their potential.
Before there was a School of Music, Mico was the School for Music. This was in no small measure due to the leadership, inspiration and instructional genius of Mr. Morris. Generations of Miconians know the work and worth of this giant of music education who was in his element in renditions of “Trees” and at home presentations of “Linstead Market”. Who of those that traversed the halls of Mico can forget the range of talent that Mr. Morris found and planned for their performance at General Assembly each Monday morning or not remember with pride the high standard of musical presentations at formal college functions?
Sydney Morris has left behind a great legacy achievement in music education, a shining example of decency and decorum and a monument of loyalty and dedication to family, college, and country.
He will be sadly missed. May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine upon him.