Sun | Oct 22, 2017

JCDC Gospel Song Finalists Named

Published:Saturday | February 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
The JCDC Gospel Song Competition 2016 Top 10

The Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre was recently blessed by the soulful voices of the 35 semi-finalists of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition as the top 35 became the top 10.

The semi-final concert, which began at 6 p.m., saw the top 35 gospel acts from across the island trying to outsing, outshine and 'outpraise' each other to make it to the final round of the competition, anointing the audience along their joyful journey.

Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the concert also featured a guest performance by the 'Reggae Worshipper', Rondell Positive.

The finalists are: Omar Douglas of St Thomas, with Stop It; Vitalyte of Manchester, with Banking In Jesus; Orville Sutherland of Clarendon, with Silver and Gold; Kazak Ministry of St Ann, with Live and Declare; Jessan Nembhard of Kingston and St Andrew, with Thank You; Marsha Jarrett of St Ann, with Send Up the Praise; Sherlon Russell of

St Catherine, with Jesus Lives in Me; Derona Davis of Clarendon, with Glory From This; Triciana Simpson of Kingston and St Andrew, with When You Call; and Filicia Williams of Kingston and St Andrew, with Can You Reach Me?

According to Stephen Davidson, director of marketing and public relations at the JCDC: "This year's impressive crop of semi-finalists each brought something extra to the competition. It was hard for the judges to select the best 10. Almost everyone was a crowd favourite."

Davidson continued: "But the JCDC Jamaica Gospel Song Competition facilitates growth in the music industry and continues to provide opportunities both locally and internationally for a lot persons who have entered, even those who were not the winners."

At the close of the entries last month, hundreds of entries were received from persons looking to become the next JCDC Gospel Song Competition star, and after four highly competitive regional auditions and eliminations, the most impressive 35 contestants were selected.

Now that the field has been narrowed to the top 10, the finalists will prepare for their journey to the finals, which will include voice, music and industry-based workshops, recording an album, and performances and outreach across the island. All this will be captured in a reality-television series leading up to the finals this summer.

Since its inception in 1987, the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition has since become an iconic presentation of indigenous gospel music in Jamaica and attracts over 200 artistes, producers, and writers of original gospel music each year.

This competition is an avenue for unearthing and facilitating the growth of writers and vocalists through training with the best within the industry.