Guests of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund (CHASE) were treated to a special musical performance on May 27 at King’s House by talented performers who were awarded scholarships under the Fund’s Arts and Culture Portfolio.
Entitled “A Classical Evening with CHASE”, the sparkling event was under the distinguished patronage of Their Excellencies the Governor General and the Most Honourable Lady Allen.
With a décor of bouquets under soft lights complemented by the music of great composers suchas Bach, Chopin and Massenet, the King’s House ballroom was transformed into an opera house.
The Alpha Boys Band, despite their youthful years displayed professionalism as they delivered the Jamaican National Anthem written by E. Mapletoff Poulle and Robert Lightbourne, This stirring rendition wasfollowed by an impressive set that included Graham Kendrik’s Shine Jesus Shine; and Noel Dexter’s God is Standing By.
The Kingston College Chapel Choir, under the direction of conductor, Audley Davidson,followed with the all-time favourites, Caribbean Hallelujah by Beryl Donaldson; Psalm 27, by Peter Tosh, arranged by Audley Davison; and This is My Land by Noel Dexter.
In keeping with the Jamaica 50 theme, the Glenmuir High School Choir rolled out Johnny Nash’s lively medley, Tribute to Cliff and the popular Believe Medley, arranged by Joel Edwards.
Classical Guitarist Shawn Richards, a graduate of the School of Music and the Fundación Conservatorio Vicente Emilio Sojo (FCVES) Venezuela, gave lessons in music during his entertaining set which included Peludio Criollo by Rodrigo Riera;Milonga Del Angel by Astor Piazzolla and Barbara Ferland’s Evening Time.
The two soprano’s for the evening were Carline Waugh, a former member of Nexus who recently received a Master’s degree in musical performance from the University of Mississippi and Lori Burnett, a lecturer at the School of Music at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Both delivered mesmerizing performances to a most appreciative audience.
Waugh, accompanied by Roger Williams, showed off her vocal range with Jules Massenet’s Adieu, notre petit table from “Manon” and Steal Me Sweet Thieffrom “The Old Maid and the Thief” by Gian Carlo Menotti.
Burnett’s scintillatingperformance of Giulio Caccini’s Ave Maria; Georges Bizet’sOvre ton Coeur and Die Mainacht by Johannes Brahamsdrew enthusiastic applause from the audience.
Special guest performer, classical pianist, Orrett Rhoden, showed his mastery as he performed Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso op. 14 by Mendelssohn; Chopin’s Nocturene no 2 in E flat op. 9 and Bach’s Gigue from French Suite no. 5 in G minor.
Rhoden, who has been described by the Observer Magazine, London, as being “one of the finest talents of his generation,” is busy preparing to launch the first Orrett Rhoden International Piano Competition to be held in Kingston next year. His recent double disc recordings are his contribution to the 50th Independence Celebrations.
Among the specially invited guests were Custos of St Andrew Marigold Harding and Professor Harding, members of the Diplomatic Corp, directors and associates of the CHASE Fund as well as friends and family of the performers.
The CHASE Fund has been supporting music education as part of its mandate under its Arts and Culture portfolio. In addition to building and equipping music rooms in schools across the island, the Fund offers scholarships to individuals and groups to further their studies in the various areas of the classical genre.
To date CHASE has disbursed some $1.3 Billion in support of the music in schools programmes and scholarships in the performing and visual arts.