Bajan Vibes must state upfront that time and space will not allow this author to do full justice in reporting what transpired at the Wildey Gymnasium on Sunday. The Schools’ Music Festival was an epic display of talent from 25 schools spanning primary, secondary and private.
So much talent was there that we enjoyed up to eight performances from a single school. The event which started with a pre-show at 5 p.m. then moved into the complex at 6 p.m. and didn’t end until close to 11 p.m. It may be best described as a marathon evening of entertainment inclusive of singing and musical presentations. It might have been bettered placed as a two-night event, given that the next day was a school day.
Thank God it wasn’t a competition. It would have been extremely difficult and taxing to judge.
But the talent didn’t come from the students alone, as some of the acts were accompanied by the Teachers Backing Band. The Ministry of Education Technology & Vocational Training along with its partners must also be commended for staging this high-quality show.
Smartly dressed Tavon Boyce, a student of Combermere, was the first act to receive a standing ovation with his soulful rendition of Yolanda Adams’ Yet Still I Rise. When we thought it couldn’t get any better after his performance, standing ovations became the order of the night as the offering kept rising in standard.
When it was announced by MC Jamar The Star that Springer Memorial’s Daianna Price was about to sing Whitney Houston’s Try It On My Own, Bajan Vibes thought it extremely bold of the teenager. But she did not disappoint. She was absolutely impressive and hit each note with ease. So too did Coleridge & Parry student Reniqua Cave who sang Make You Feel My Love.
Samuel Murrell brought a different flair to the show with his masterful rendition. The St Leonard’s Boys student was a cut above the rest with his precision and excellent vocals. His offering sounded like something you would hear from the Westminister Abbey Choir in London. His was a totally top-notch and world-class performance.
Alleyne School’s Aaliyah Cumberbatch blew the audience away. Singing And I am Telling You, she had the most powerful voice of the night and commanded it well. The school’s Pop Band was great too, with their spouge medley.
The Harrison College Trio was heavenly in their rendition of The Prayer. There was harmony from start to finish.
Ashe Augustine represented Ellerslie School extremely well, given that she was the only representative of the school. Singing Feeling Good, her vocals were on point. The talented Theres Lambert, of Frederick Smith Secondary, sang an original piece while playing the piano. Jeliah Boyce of The St Michael School sang You Say.
Shontae Barnett of the Princess Margaret School, who closed the show, did a magnificent job. Singing Not Enough, the teen’s vocal were second to none among those who had earlier graced the stage.
Primary school choirs were represented by Bay Primary, Bayley’s Primary, Christ Church Girls, George Lamming, Hindsbury Primary, St Luke’s, A DaCosta Edwards, St Martin Mangrove and West Terrace.
Twin sisters Alano and Naomi Mayers sang He Raise Me Up serenaded the audience, as did the Bayley’s Primary Oshea Stoute singing Mother of Mine.
The secondary school choirs included: Alleyne School, Lester Vaughan and Coleridge & Parry.
The sweet sounds of pan came from Daryll Jordan Steel Orchestra, Frederick Smith Steel Orchestra and Princess Margaret Pop Ensemble.
Instrumental tributes from Alleyne School’s saxophonist Winitrey Harper and flutist Kaylee Allman, Combermere’s C6 Band and Codrington School’s Kotaro Minami were simply beautiful.
The inclusion for the first time of Codrington School added much value to the diversity of the show. Led by Director of Music and local entertainer Chrystal Cummins Beckles Holder, eight acts delighted the audience.
Students from Aruba and Japan, among other places, graced the stage of the festival for the first time and gave a great showing. (IMC)