Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Roy Hall Memorial Scholarship fundraiser on Sunday

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 9:00 AMMel Cooke
Monte Blake
Mikey T.
Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson (left), principal of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts; James Bruce (second left), member of the Roy Hall Scholarship Foundation; Rachael Allen (centre), scholarship award recipient; Eloine Hall-Oakley (second right), president of the Roy Hall Scholarship Foundation; and C. Marine Cunningham, EMC Registrar, during a presentation ceremony for a previous scholarship award.
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Some things have remained the same about the annual Roy Hall Memorial Scholarship fund-raiser, but at least one critical thing has changed. For this year's effort to raise funds for the scholarship's 16th disbursement, the venue remains The Deck on Trafalgar Road, New Kingston. The day of the party - a Sunday - has been retained and so has the $1,500 contribution.

"We realise times are hard and it does not have any sense to put it out of the reach of people," Eloine Hall-Oakley, Roy Hall's widow and president of the Roy Hall Scholarship Foundation told The Gleaner.

The eventual recipient of the funds will still be a Drama School student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The person will be selected from a shortlist prepared by the institution after an interview by members of the Roy Hall Scholarship Foundation and the institution's staff members.

However, Eloine Hall-Oakley said the financial target has gone up and the hope is to generate $300,000. Any extra money that is raised would go towards another student, possibly as a half scholarship. "It depends on who is chosen," Hall-Oakley said, pointing out that students cannot progress unless they have paid their fees. "That is where we come in... . Every year it is a little more," she said.

This Sunday at The Deck there will also be an adjustment in the fund-raiser's format as there will be strictly recorded music, instead of the customary mix of a concert and turntable wizardry. Taking care of the tunes will be Monte Blake and Mikey Thompson of Merritone, along with DJ Calibud.

"We are hoping to have a good turnout. We are hoping to appeal to the younger set as well. It is a good mix of music, appealing to the younger and older crowd," Hall-Oakley said.

 

BEYOND TEACHING

 

Calibud is actually a former Roy Hall, Memorial Scholarship recipient and Hall-Oakley says that other past recipients will be there. However, some are overseas.

Hall-Oakley said the intention is to select someone who will be involved in drama beyond teaching, although the reality is that the classroom offers employment security. She also noted that drama goes beyond being on stage to production and technical elements.

With recipients being involved in the classroom, she hopes their impact will influence students to pursue drama at the tertiary level as well. She is pleased with how the scholarship recipients have progressed. "We have not done badly so far. They have all turned out very well," she said.

Sunday's fundraising party starts at 5:00 p.m. and has no set ending time.

The scholarship grew out of an annual home-based lyme around hambone and gungo soup centred around the late Roy Hall for over two decades until he died in 1998. The group of his friends not only carried on the tradition, but also decided, on the suggestion of his brother, to establish the scholarship in Hall's honour.

Hall was also multifaceted, playing with the band Blue Notes in England after World War II. In Jamaica, on radio, he was involved in Teenage Dance Party and Jamaica Bandstand and as an actor, Hall was a member of Jamaica Playhouse. He played Dr Gordon in the film Passion and Paradise, with Rod Steiger.