Guests of the CHASE Fund were treated to a special musical performance in celebration of the Fund’s 15th anniversary at the University Chapel on July 1, 2018.
The event featured the Nexus Performing Arts Company, the Kingston College Chapel Choir, soprano, Danielle Watson, the Jamaica Youth Chorale, the Lightening Drummers, the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica and Northern Caribbean University music majors.
The Lightening Drummers opened the show with Arrive arranged by their teacher, Karen Davis. The young drummers, whose members are students of Ardenne Preparatory, received financial support from CHASE back in 2016 to compete in the World Championship of the performing Arts in Hollywood California where they excelled. The confident performance of the young drummers set the stage for an evening of great music.
The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), followed with performances of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Preludio de Te Dium and the Klaus Badlet composed Pirates of the Caribbean. The pieces were beautifully performed by the orchestra which is the result of a dynamic after-school music program that has been empowering youth through classical music training.
The evergreen Nexus Performing Arts Company rolled out the old favourites including the Negro spiritual, Steal Away arranged by the Company’s artistic director, Hugh Douse and Glorious Is Thy Name by Mozart.
The Kingston College Chapel Choir, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary followed with a stirring mix including Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. The choir, under the direction of conductor, Audley Davidson, also performed Praise His Holy Name by Keith Hampton and The Prayer.
The Jamaica Youth Chorale performed Noel Dexter’s arrangement of Psalm 24.
They followed up with Cyaa Ketch Mi Again by Andrew Marshall and ultimately surprised with a choral arrangement of Buju Banton’s, Til Shiloh, to the delight of the audience.
Danielle Watson, accompanied by Dr. Kaestner Robertson, showed off her vocal range with Quando m’en vo from La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini. Watson’s bold and impassioned performance of Ah! Je veux vivre from Roméo and Juliette, was also well received by the audience.
The audience also got to hear from Northern Caribbean University students Oren Thomas, piano, Sashekia Brown, soprano, Danielle Brown, mezzo-soprano and baritone, Calynton Blake, whose rendition of I Bought Me a Cat by Aaron Copeland, delighted the audience.
The CHASE Fund 15th Anniversary Combined Choir made up of the participatings choirs, was the highlight of the evening. The choir, coordinated by Noel Dexter, conducted by Gregory Simms and accompanied by Cathy Brown on piano and Dr. Kaestner Robertson on organ, produced an exhilarating listening experience with This is My Land by Robert Lightbourne and William Steffe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic…creating a perfect end to the evening of performances.
In its 15 years of operation, CHASE has funded 3,725 projects totaling $17.0B with $4.3B to Education, $3.7B to Health, $2.7B to Arts and Culture; and $6.3B to Sports via a pass through to the Sports Development Foundation.
The Chairman of the CHASE Fund, Philip Henriques, noted in his message, that the Fund had supported many beneficial interventions that had varying but significant impact on the communities in which they were located and on the lives of beneficiaries.
He highlighted CHASE’s support for music education 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 study music and the performing arts.
Mr. Henriques thanked the many partners, associates and friends who had worked with CHASE to make a difference.