If the culmination of the Errol Barrow Day Sunset Concert, featuring talented youth at The Glebe Playing Field in St George is an indication of our future, it’s sure to be bright.
Our secondary schools represented very well in a showcase of pop bands they created. The Alleyne School Pop Band included classic Bajan melodies in their set, like John Belly Mama, while the Barbados Community College band De Men –– known for musical excellence –– treated the audience to a funky jazz and neo-soul session with Jill Scott’s Golden and other songs on violins and steel pan.
The Foundation School pop band Next Generation offered reggae classics like Now That We Found Love by Third World, while the Harrison College Pop Band performed a mix of contemporary numbers like I Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd and Bajan hits like Insane by krosfyah.
Phenomenal, a young group of musicians from various secondary schools had the audience grooving to popular 2015 soca tunes.
Richard Stoute Teen Talent finalists were a natural source from which to mine gifted youth: 2015 winner Cherice Richards, Tarik Griffith, Kenya Joseph were backed by The Teachers’ Band (comprising, you guessed it, teachers!).
It was evident from the screams of appreciation from the sizeable crowd, the young performers had invited their fans and families.
When asked what she thought of the event being held in her community, Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo shared with Barbados TODAY: “I am absolutely proud we’re hosting it here. It’s not often that Errol Barrow Day comes to St George. We normally have these celebrations in [Bridgetown], in St John. But what a lot of people don’t know is that St George was the stepping stone for Errol Barrow.
“It was in 1951 that he first became a Member of Parliament; so that we feel a part of [Barrow’s] legacy.”
Byer-Suckoo also acknowledged that events like this were a boon to entrepreneurs and neighbouring businesses like Rum Pitch Sports Bar. Besides the community entrepreneurs’ stalls, patrons were made aware of the tent selling 50th Anniversary Of Independence memorabilia –– to be available at each concert.
It was an impressive production on the whole. Of course, there were some standouts. Reniece Bonnett, who sang with the Harrison College Band, was also lead vocalist in 1688 Junior Band, comprising top young musicians from various schools who performed a fresh arrangement of Adele’s Hello blended with that of Lionel Richie’s. This young woman already is developing stage presence and should have a future in entertainment.
Young solo saxophonist Kieshelle Rawlins delivered a mellow one –– A Potters Hand –– with inspiration from her faith.
I also like the link of national cultural activities like this being open to grass-roots districts. Like the community outreach movement by the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA), the Trident celebrations for Barbados’ 50th anniversary seem set on criss-crossing the nation. Word is the Broken Trident is to be passed on to St. Thomas next.
To conclude the live entertainment for the night, Mylon Clarke, nattily and independently attired in blue and yellow, and black shades, bow tie and hat, showcased his experience on stage. The Berkley College scholar and saxophonist thrilled with arrangements of songs by Rihanna, Gabby, Red Plastic Bag and even a nod to spouge by the Draytons 2. Sign me up for this Bajan saxophonist’s concert please!
It’s hard to believe all of that was for free.