The sandbox tree which stands at the heart of the Harrison College, Crumpton Street compound is dear to all who have attended that institution. There was a distinct feeling of camaraderie when the most recent installment, Mosaic VII Rhythms Round the Sandbox Tree, was staged at the Frank Collymore Hall this weekend.
With each act that was announced, their house affiliations were shared to the delight of their compatriots, who screamed their approval. The annual concert which raises funds in support of the artistic, cultural and sporting programmes at the school attracted large crowds on both Saturday and Sunday.
Whether they were current students or those who have long passed through the hallowed halls, the scheduled acts all contributed to a spectacular showcase on Sunday. The Harrison College (HC) School Choir and the HC Augmented Orchestra teamed up to start the show on a high.
They were followed by the Dr Stephan Walcott Trio. Next was a Mosaic Genres Combo. In this segment, musical tribute was paid to some of the past members of the KOLIJ family who have left an indelible mark. Among them were Adrian Boo Husbands, William Smokey Burke and Janice Millington.
It was a joy to watch extraordinary pianist Matthew Edghill with his solo. The student was jaw dropping with his own composition Apocalypse, conjuring vivid imagery with his masterful delivery of the complex piece. His musicianship was also on display with the band as they played his arrangement of classic tracks by Dr Anthony Mighty Gabby Carter. Lee Callender, former student of Janice Millington, also showed his skill with a piano solo.
The Mosaic Big Band is a staple, and they too delivered a solid performance. Included in their segment was singer Mikel Gooding. She was awesome with her rendition of Our Prayer. Dressed in a floor-length maroon gown reminiscent of the school colours, she was stunning in appearance and with the delivery of her vocals. Harmoni Haynes and Raanan Hackett are current students who were also featured in the production.
Among the old scholars adding their talent to the fundraiser were spoken word artiste DJ Simmons, singers Jadon Knight, Alix Cage and David Kid Site Piggott, with a flashback to his dub chanting days. He even sang a ditty about the coronavirus, which he came up with on the spot.
Wayne Poonka Willock brought some percussion with the Tuk Band Riddim while Rupee performed the timeless hit Jump. He then got attendees in a patriotic mood, bringing them to their feet with I Am a Bajan. Adonijah was joined by Judah Goddard on steel pan for Tenor Pan.
The extended family helping to entertain the appreciative audience included Tamara Marshall, Anderson Blood Armstrong, Terry Mexican Arthur and the duo of Arturo Tappin and Jomo Slusher. 2 Mile Hill lead singer Mahalia Cummins also made a dynamic appearance. Her band mate and former HC student Andre Clarke was joined by Shadia Marshall for a cover of Lead Pipe and Jus Jay’s Sometime.
Master of Ceremonies Andrew Pilgrim was in fine form and had the audience in stitches throughout.
Appropriately, the two-day instalment ended with a resounding standing ovation. (STT)