Youth orchestra plays to students from 23 schools
Last Sunday, 125 National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) students performed for a generous crowd at Hope Gardens, St Andrew. There were students from 23 schools at NYOJ's free end-of-term community concert.
The audience saw nine and 10-year-olds students going on stage for the first time, as well as a senior brass quintet and string quartet, made up of NYOJ's most talented students playing well-known crowd pleasers.
From Beethoven to Vivaldi and Bellamy to Bellwood, the concert showcased a wide-ranging classical, cultural and international repertoire, with many Jamaican composers and arrangers featured. Each piece was introduced by a student from a school attending the concert. Many audience members expressed their admiration for the programme bringing together different educational institutions and being a positive
outlet for Jamaican youth.
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, in his message, said, "I must commend the NYOJ for its programme of empowering Jamaica's youths through
classical-music training and development of youth orchestras. When young people make music together, they work towards a common goal that has the potential to change lives profoundly and for the better."
The evening was hosted by NYOJ artistic director Ann McNamee, who expressed gratitude to the audience for its support and encouraged continued involvement as the programme is changing lives. By the end of the show, the crowd was shouting for an encore.