Mon | Aug 26, 2019

Bog Walk High is 2017 Best School Band

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
St Catherine High School’s singers performing at the 2017 Jamaica’s Best High School Band contest, held on Sunday at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Cross Keys’ Tracy-Ann Morrison (left) accepts the award for most Outstanding Performer (Female) from Rayven Amani.
Members of the Bog Walk High School Band gather on stage at the Vera Moody Concert Hall, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, after being named Jamaica’s Best School Band for 2017.
Casey Donaldson (left) of Bog Walk High School accepting the award for Most Outstanding Performer (Male) from Rayven Amani of Jorja Events Media at the Vera Moody Concert Hall, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, during Sunday’s finals of the 2017 Jamaica’s Best School Band contest.

Bog Walk High School, Jamaica's Best School Band for 2017, made their musical mark on the stage of the Vera Moody Concert Hall, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, on Sunday night. However, at the moment their victory was announced, with St Catherine High, placing second, and Cross Keys High third, the stage could not contain the joy of some of the Bog Walk band's members.

So for a few seconds, there was a tumble of blue jeans- and white shirt-clad students leaping from the stage to sprint down the aisle between cheering audience members and back towards the stage in glee at winning a very close contest. Cross Keys scored 45 points out of a maximum 50, St Catherine High 46 and Bog Walk 47.

Bog Walk won $100,000 cash, a recording session of their original song with Raging Fyah Band and a saxophone. St Catherine collected $75,000 and Cross Keys $50,000. The competition is organised by Jorja Events Media.

The other schools in the finals of the contest's fourth annual staging were Belair High School, Camperdown High School and Jamaica College. There was some consolation for the school from Mandeville, as Belair was deemed Most Disciplined Band. Cross Keys took the sectional prize for Most Improved Band and Most Outstanding Performer (Female) in Tracy-Ann Morrison. Most Outstanding Performer (Male) was Casey Donaldson of Bog Walk High and Best Bandleader was Jamaica College's Jhada Dwyer. The Most Dedicated Band was Cross Keys. St Catherine High had the Best Image,

In the earlier stages of the finals two primary schools competed against each other, St Richard's Primary from St Andrew winning a bass guitar donated by musician Lloyd Parkes and a trumpet.

Some of the competing bands infused drama into their performances. Three Cross Keys members standing around a table simulating playing a board game before they began a set which included Romain Virgo's I Know Better. Bog Walk's Donaldson slapped his chest to leave red marks on his white shirt, representing wounds, before the band did Rihanna's Man Down. St Catherine, like other bands on the night, had a lady or two from the audience twirl with their lead singer, the band's set included Cheap Thrills.