Sun | Jul 21, 2019

Kingston College Chapel Choir continues rich tradition

Published:Wednesday | December 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Kerry-Ann Henry dances to ‘And She Rock the Baby To Sleep’.
Members of the Kingston College Choir.
Kingston College Chapel Choir conductor, Audley Davidson.
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The phrase "rich tradition of excellence", bestowed upon the Kingston College (KC) Chapel Choir, was on Sunday justified.

A packed University of the West Indies (UWI) Chapel, Mona, was treated to high-quality vocals, dazzling harmony, and empowering music, at the choir's annual Christmas concert.

The concert was a resounding success from the opening angelic performance of Noel Dexter's I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me, to his Sing De Chorus, arranged to ska by Audley Davidson. So was the premiere of Dr Andrew Marshall's composition, Magnificat (Mary's Song).

Magnificat is divided into nine movements, and begins with the slow and reflective My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord, and concludes with Glory Be To the Father, Amen. However, the richness of the composition came in the movement He Hath Helped His Servant Israel. The soloists were soprano Lori Burnett and baritone Khyle Townsend.

The gentlemen of North Street also mesmerised with a chant of Olive Lewin's Holy Mount Zion, and a lively rendition of Beryl Donaldson's Caribbean Hallelujah, with arrangement by Davidson. And she Rocked the Baby to Sleep was given more credence with a dance from Kerry-Ann Henry, while the audience was invited to participate in the singing of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. In Kirk Franklin's The Night When Christ Was Born, soloist Kemoni Williams illustrated the depth and quality of the choir with a powerful performance.

Performances also came from Purple String Quartet and young violinist Nathan Campbell. The choir was accompanied by the National Youth Orchestra, the Brave Beats (KC) Band and organist Livingston.

Additionally, there was a presentation from the National Institute of Jamaica Musgrave Award Committee. The choir was one of three recipients of the 2018 Musgrave Silver Medal Awards. Marigold Harding made the presentation on behalf of the committee to Kingston College principal, Dave Myrie.

 

PRIVILEGE TO BE RECOGNISED

 

In response to the award, Davidson said it was a privilege to be recognised. "KC has been around for over 70 years, and clearly a lot of work has been put in by my predecessors, and it's a wonderful feeling to be recognised. Over the years, the choir has worked very hard, and each generation continues the fine tradition that has developed over the years."

In going forward he explained, "The sky is the limit. We have been working on lots of Jamaican compositions, utilising local composers. Most of the selections this year were the works of local composers, which needs to be highlighted.

"Over the years, we have been focusing on European music, but our local music is just as worthy and need to be highlighted as much. They are of very good quality, and any local song can be arranged in a choral setting so that the persons who are so inclined to classical music can enjoy it." He added, "The Kingston College Chapel Choir comprises 47 singers with a nice balance between old boys and current students in continuing the tradition of excellence."