The judges in this year’s NIFCA Performing Arts Finals have a tough task on their hands after outstanding performances on Sunday night at the Major Noot Hall, Combermere School.
As the vocalists and musicians took to the stage, there was no denying the abundance of talented individuals in this year’s line-up. The Marlon Legall Project powerfully stood out as a force to be reckoned with.
With diverse, captivating performances, the group’s dramatic and thrilling presentation of two pieces, One By One and Riots and Rebellion, received much applause from the packed auditorium.
Elite Vox also captured the attention of the crowd with their ethereal voices that echoed throughout the hall like a cathedral choir. Their performance of Sleep was phenomenal followed by an impressive delivery of Momma, which was equally as spellbinding.
The Alleyne School Choir made their supporters proud. The Belleplaine, St Andrew students gave the audience some spiritual food with their performance of Total Praise. However, it was their delivery of Hold On that really struck a chord.
Accompanied by a dancer on stage, the performance of Hold On told of an individual at the end of the rope, fighting with inner demons to continue to find the will to live or, more aptly “hold on”.
Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP) was strongly represented in the finals, with Jarnella Boland, Rohan Arthur and Ronneisha Carter. Boland sang Battle Scars, while Arthur urged young female students to remain focused with School Girls.
Carter gave a teary delivery of Like I’m Gonna Lose You which she dedicated to family members who were in attendance. As she gave the judges a taste of her beautiful voice, Carter started to cry as the lyrics apparently resonated with her experience.
Other solo acts who came prepared and delivered solid performances were gospel artiste Ki’ann Browne. She commanded the stage during her rendition of Mercy Said No and Better.
Combermere student Drayann Cadogan gave an exceptional performance of He Wants It and Barbados Community College student Dawn-Mari Nicole Springer showcased her vast vocal ability in her rendition of I Know Where I’ve Been.
The Combermere School Steel Orchestra opened the show with Te Solte La Rienda followed by Fuzion Band which performed Barbados We Come From. All female band, Link’d were crowd favourites, with their groovy and youthful rendition of Rihanna’s biggest hits.
C S Kloud 9 suffered from some technical difficulties initially but overcame this challenge with their musical prowess and showmanship as they presented Mr Smooth and Master Blaster.
Musician Andre Worrell, who is a contender for the Jackie Opel Incentive Award for an original piece, showcased his guitar skills as he performed a self-penned number, Soldier of the Heart.
There were lively and colourful performances, reflecting true Barbadian culture, by the Haynesville Youth Club and the Israel Lovell Foundation. To the beat of drums and rhythmic movements of dance, the Haynesville Youth Club did CARIFESTA Experience while the Israel Lovell Foundation performed Rhythmic Force.