Elliott School Commencement Singer Builds Bridges with Music

photo: Floyd Jones singing at 2015 Elliott School Graduation Celebration
June 17, 2015

Floyd Jones is a big believer in the power of music. Shortly after his graduation from GW in May, he and fellow members of the George Washington University Singers and Troubadours embarked on a choir tour of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

“On the tour, we bring a completely American repertoire. We try to feature the highlights of the American sound. We incorporate classical works from composers like Aaron Copeland and Dave Brubeck, to spiritual pieces from Keith Hampton and William L. Dawson,” said Mr. Jones (B.A. ’15). “For me, the tour is an amazing experience to not only experience new cultures, but also to form new bonds with people around the world through music and cultural diplomacy. I have made the best of friends in countries I never would have imagined, and it is because of the power of music.”

Mr. Jones shared his own powerful music at the Elliott School’s commencement celebration, where he sang the national anthem a cappella. He also sang at the GW Commencement on the National Mall with the University Singers.

“Singing for the Elliott School celebration was a dream come true for me. It was a blessing to be able to share my love of music with my love of international affairs and to be able to offer a small contribution to students and families ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives.”photo: Jones and fellow GW University Singers and Troubadors

Mr. Jones, a GW presidential scholar in the arts, double-majored in music and international affairs. In his final semester, he completed a thesis that examined the uses and effects of music in international development. His interest in development, he says, stems from his personal connections to a developing country.

“My parents and elder brothers were all born in Sierra Leone and a majority of my family members still live there, so we try to go back every other year. My passion for making a difference came from seeing people born into circumstances that they couldn’t fight their way out of.

"I want to be a part of creating a reality where everyone has an opportunity to reach success, and it all started with my family.” 

As a finalist in the GW Business Plan Competition, Mr. Jones and his company, The Network Generation, were awarded startup funds and free office space. The company works to make Internet and other technology and services more affordable and accessible in developing nations.

“Only 37.9% of the world has consistent access to Internet. One of those countries badly affected by this tech gap is my family's home country of Sierra Leone. By bringing together established firms that solve these telecommunications failures and connecting them with direct distribution channels and markets to sell their products, we not only provide access to new markets for established firms, but we also provide new opportunities for people in developing nations to take advantage of and create a new reality for themselves.”

But the music won’t fade, Mr. Jones says. He will continue to volunteer for a local DC nonprofit, One Common Unity, where he will serve as director for the organization’s high school performance troupe.

“I believe our lives should be vessels to not only advance our own agendas but aid others in advancing theirs as well. With my company, my volunteer work, and other projects I plan on making giving back a part of my legacy and not just a chapter in my life.”