The band of the Barbados Defence Force Band, the colourful Zouaves, delivered a top performance of familiar melodies to cap a delightful evening of good company and refreshing entertainment at the Ablaze concert, held last Saturday at the army base, St Ann’s Fort, the Garrison.
The fundraising event, now in its 11th year, was staged by the Ermine Holmes Community Trust.
With top entertainers on the cards including Crystal Cummins-Beckles, the Trinity Steel Orchestra and others, the event lived up to its billing.
Award-winning Trinity Steel brought the hall to life with Flying Free and Bette Midler’s Wing Beneath My Wings among other steelband gems
But it was the outstanding performances of the juniors that led to much applause and plenty smiles.
Ten-year-old Damanie Beckles, of St Stephen’s Primary School, wowed the audience as he performed The Fairy Court and a ragtime piece on the piano.
Talented 12-year-old Brandon Byer-Maloney of Harrison College provoked much thought amid chuckles as he delivered a spoken-word piece entitled Loyal Citizens,written by Tyrone Marshall.
Up-and-coming singer Kymorhi Trotman of the Barbados Community College’s music programme displayed his passion for music as he skilfully sang John Legend’s This Time.
His BCC counterpart, Dawn-Mari Springer, 18, mesmerized the gathering with an effortless singing of Yet Still I Rise by Yolanda Adams and Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child.
“The Defence Force Band not only their performance, but they really helped with the venue – they left no stone unturned,” said Chairperson of the Ermine Holmes Community Trust Karen Batson.
“The Trinity Steel Orchestra was excellent, and, of course, Crystal was in her usual form; and then our young people especially from community College – I was especially pleased with them. We like to work with young people and give them exposure and so and I thought that their performances were very, very good…. The young ones made us especially proud,” she said of the evening.
The work of the Trust, which was set up in the memory of outstanding educator Ermine Holmes, has been concentrated in the countryside community of St Judes, St George.
It caters to the elderly and youth and is well-known for its monthly senior fellowship session, weekly senior’s craft session and the weekly children’s programme, Express Yourself.
It also offers humanitarian awards in the forms of grants to select students from St Jude Primary School and the Grantley Adams Memorial School.
The foundation hopes its efforts will encourage other communities to be more active in philanthropy, Batson said.
“You can be in your community and working together without necessarily having Government sponsorship, and just kind of give back and do good for the people of your community. It is a model that we hope other people will take up,” she said.