By Simone Tull
Music can act as the bridge between different cultures, and the Odyssey Concert, part of the Barbados Celtic Festival, was a clear representation of this cultural exchange.
Staged at the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on Friday evening, the event featured not only some fantastic choral pieces but a magnificent display with bagpipes and drums.
Immediately after the building’s clock chimed 7 p.m, the halls of the church were filled with the sounds of traditional Scottish music as the ensemble paraded with pomp and pageantry, making its way to the front. Dressed in traditional kilts, the musicians captivated the audience with their masterful delivery, delivering a wonderful interpretation of Amazing Grace.
They made way for the amalgamated St. Peter’s Church Choir and Barclays Choir under the direction of Julian Bowen. Their selections included I Will Sing with the Spirit, Ash Grove, Look at the World, Another Day, and an upbeat revamp of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon.
Next in the lineup was the Côr Caru B, an all-male Welsh choir led by Dr. Mike Thomas. He simultaneously acted as a storyteller, giving sometimes humorous insight into the background of the pieces being performed. Their musical tales crossed both tragedy and comedy as they wove that intricate tale through song.
From death at war to life as a pirate, complete with eyepatches and shoulder-perched parrots, the dramatic effect was added as the audience was transported to a different place and time with every piece.
A highlight of the night was the blending of the voices of Côr Caru B with those of the amalgamated choir to sing Barbados I Love and Beautiful Barbados as the choirs paid tribute to the island. Côr Caru B ended the night on an equally patriotic note singing their anthem.
The Celtic Festival continued with a Bridgetown Street Parade from Jubilee Gardens, culminating at Golden Square.
Proceeds from the concert will aid the church’s organ fund. (STT)