Youth Music Festival ends on a high note

But patrons who turned out were not disappointed. It was a true class championship programme by the youths.

The sessions left a lingering thought for both patrons and as well as members of the Music Festival Association (North) and its helpers, all of whom won much praise from Maureen Manchouk, chairman of the North Committee.

As in the past, the festival left an indelible mark that it was the quintessential platform for the development of musical talent in Trinidad and Tobago.

From the era of the late May Johnstone and the Abdool sisters – from Roxy Cinema to the Naparima Bowl, and Queen’s Hall, the Music Festival has never failed to produce class performances – performances that have stretched the world over – from Monica Ortiz

to Eddie Cumberbatch, not to mention the top class choirs of Lydians, Marionettes, and the Love Movement.

Not to mention the multiplicity of talented people strewn across the globe, all products of the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival.

The simple message of all of this, the Music Festival in TT is something that should live on....never say die.

Now, back to Sunday afternoon’s north session which seemed to fulfill all the advice dished out over the previous days by Adjudicator, Dr Roger Henry. I’m sure that at the end of it all, he was pleased as punch.

The contestants over the past week had done, as a duck takes to water, all or most of his advice in improving their nuances of first-class music – tonal quality, diction and the panorama of other ideas, including; dynamic ranges, excellent dynamic control, all of which contributed to the tremendous improvement noted by Dr Henry himself.

Listening to Dr Henry himself threw me back to the days of Dr Sydney Northcote and his remembered phrase (“I cannot lay an egg, but I can tell a good one from a bad one”). And another old-timer in John Havelock Nelson, then among others who followed like Dr Jan Harrington, and Dr Maria Tellez.

Back to Sunday’s show. First on stage was The Holistic Music School Band, playing their own choice “Feeling Good”. They laid the groundwork for what was to come. Indeed, the entire programme of performances was very digestive.

The classes, 1 - 5, produced a first and Adjudicator Award to Daniel Roberts for his very expressive “Passing By.” He was the champion vocal soloist among the boys, while Dominique Akal, singing smoothly her “Evening Prayer” emerged champion vocal soloist among the girls.

In Class 17 Chelsea Fensom, playing Chanson de Matin, her own choice, maintained her first position from last Wednesday with her violin solo, to earn the Adjudicator’s Award for champion instrumental solo.

Following an excellent performance by guest performer Keisha Martinez, singing “Romance #2 by Stenhammar” which was well received, the competition resumed among the winners of classes for Girls Vocal Duet, and Girls Vocal Trio, supported by veteran accompanists Lindy- Ann Bodden-Rich and Enrique Ali, himself a music festival graduate.

The Adjudicator’s Award went to the winners of Class 22 – Girls Vocal Trio from St Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain, for their “Dancing the Baby” which was arranged by Havelock Nelson, former Music Festival Adjudicator.

The trophy for the Boys Vocal Ensemble was won by Fatima College Trio Blue, who retained their first place with their very melodic and brotherly love, which fashioned their piece into “Brotherly Love.”

In the following championship classes – winners of the steel pan soloists, the male competitor Luke Walker, with his “Around the World Medley” was a bit outclassed by the female pannist, Shennelle George, whose tune “Tempest” won her the Adjudicator’s Award for being the champion steelpan soloist.

Another guest performer, Alan Cooper, filled the gap with his finale – Presto non ranto” taken from the Sonata Opus 58/3 by Frederic Chopin. Following the lusty round of applause he won from the audience???? Next, the piano duet of Jerome Ifill and Mala Labastide, who played the piece “The Swan” in which Adjudicator Henry there was tremendous improvement from their previous performance, won them the Adjudicator’s Award.

The Junior Pan ensemble outdid the Holistic Music School, with their interpretative Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, the Trinity All Generations School of Arts, won them the Adjudicator’s Award.

Then followed the more rhythmic pieces with the performers being the Secondary School Choirs, the St Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain choir, emerged champion school choir to win the Adjudicator’s Award.

Then there was the odd moment of Fatima College Senior Choir competing against itself to win the adjudicator’s award for secondary school choirs with their “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” – the traditional piece arranged by Victor C Johnson.

Performing before Fatima was St Joseph’s Convent Choir from Port-of-Spain with their very expressive “Clap Yo’ Hands. They were the champion school choir - upper voices.

Then came the piece de resistance – School Folk Song choirs in which El Do West Junior Calypso Chorale, with their David Rudder’s “Calypso Music,” which won them the Adjudicator’s Award for being the champion School Folk Song Choir.

The day’s performances were wound up by a vote of thanks from Manchouck, the North Committee’s chairman of the Music Festival Association.

Earlier in the programme, the audience was put on alert by singer/announcer Richard Pierre, who reminded the audience that preparations had already begun for the national Music Festival 2016. So see you next year.


"Youth Music Festival ends on a high note"

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