Students literally came from all over Barbados to the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, St James, for the latest edition of the Ministry of Education’s series of concerts to mark Education Month.
The show began with two soloists from St Winifred’s School, namely Erin Toppin who sang Human, and Ella Poulter, whose father JJ Poulter, formerly of the group Kite, accompanied her on guitar for her performance of What Do I Know.
A five-member boy group from Queen’s College then took to the stage for a well-received acappella rendition of John King’s How Many More. A fitting song for these times when the issue of youth violence is a hot topic.
Hillaby Turners Hall Primary School performed a medley of old Barbadian folk songs including Millie Gone to Brazil and See my Little Brown Gal. The students of the rural primary school were a bit more settled by the time they got into their performance of Irving Burgie’s Day-O which was made famous by Harry Belafonte.
Kaerie Baptiste stayed well within her range as she gave a convincing performance of Whitney Houston’s I Look to You, while another student, Rajani played Rihanna’s Shine Bright Like a Diamond on the steel pan.
Coleridge and Parry’s substantive choir director, Marlon Legall, was under the weather, but one of his proteges, Stefan Ward, ably rose to the occasion leading the choir in renditions of Come See and Tell ‘Em.
The school’s eight-member group called CP Unit also gave a good account of themselves, this was despite only working together for two-and-a half-weeks prior to the concert. They performed I Won’t Give It To Ya using the steel pan as their main supporting instrument.
Melodie Simmons came all the way from St John representing the Lodge School, and lived up to her name with her sweet performance of the semi-classical number A Thousand Years.
Harrison College also brought three soloists from Crumpton Street to Holetown, and they represented three different musical styles. The charismatic Raanan Hackett sang Jackie Opel’s You’re No Good, Cherice Richards was dynamic in her performance of gospel group Mary Mary’s hit Go Get It, while Jessica Kodilinye accompanied herself on guitar as she sang Stevie Wonder’s 1980 tribute to Bob Marley, Master Blaster popularly known as Jammin’.
The Gordon Greenidge Primary School performed a timely rhythm poetry piece entitled Put Down De Guns, while the choir performed He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands and a medley of local folk songs including My Country To Me, Pull Dem Oars, Island in the Sun and Angelina.
A contingent from the Infants A class at Wesley Hall Infants School journeyed from Bridgetown with all-original material, including a folk song entitled Bajan, which should be circulated to all the island’s schools, and a rhythm poetry piece stressing the importance of reading called Look at Me.
A small delegation from the St Leonard’s Boys’ School choir showed why that group has been so highly acclaimed over the last few years. With a lovely, soothing rendition of Edelweiss, while one young man did an awesome solo of the classical number Caro Mio Ben.
The Alexandra Beacons shone as they performed Trust in You with two female soloists, while a male soloist performed How Great is Our God.
The Alleyne School’s quartet was one of the more outstanding acts as its four featured vocalists displayed amazing range in their performances. They sang the now popular Rise Up, Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, and one of the girls did a mesmerizing solo performance of the hymn Tis So Sweet.
The Frederick Smith Secondary School, located a stone’s throw from the swanky Limegrove, brought two girls who performed Rise Up and a soca-flavoured version of Chandelier without missing a beat. They also played Sheryl Hackett’s Beautiful and Unspoilt with Brenishua Brewster on lead vocals.
The Combermere School contingent’s first appearance was with Faith Harewood, who sang Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me, and Chaunte White, who was very charismatic as she played Emmerton on the violin.
The school’s ‘s CS9 band, which featured two saxophonists and a trumpeter, then closed the show with a calypso medley featuring RPB’s Spontaneous and Soca Boat, I Won’t Give it to Ya and Feeling ah Feeling.