Tue | Jan 24, 2017

Feast of Lights, good for another 44

Published:Saturday | December 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM
The Northern Caribbean orchestra performs at a previous Feast of Lights. - Contributed

Northern Caribbean University (NCU) wowed the audience at its premiere musical showcase, Feast of Lights, last Saturday.

The event featured John Rutter's Gloria with musical presentations by the NCU Chorale and Chamber Choir conducted by Dr Andrew Marshall, NCU's director of choirs, with chair of the Department of Music, Dr Kaestner Robertson, on the organ.

The evening was enjoyed by music enthusiasts who travelled from across the island to immerse themselves in the event held at the university's main campus in Mandeville.

The choirs entered the auditorium with the singing of the processional hymn, Once in Royal David City, signalling the start of the musical exposé. The carols Jesus Christ the Apple Tree and Angels We Have Heard On High were sung by the NCU Chorale with much veneration.

The African-American spiritual Go Tell it on the Mountain was beautifully executed by the NCU Chorale, led by Karim Chang, tenor.

The NCU Chamber Choir added rhythm to the event with Giovanni Corrodus and Horace Brown on the congo and steel drums, respectively.

Their rendition of the traditional West Indian carol De Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy was a crowd favourite.

The feature performance for the evening, Cantata: Gloria, was sung in Latin and English by the NCU Chorale.

The audience enjoyed the variety in the segments, applauding for the energetic, the fast, and the slow.

Sanctified atmosphere

Members of the audience actively shared in the programme and joined the performers in singing While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

During the singing of Silent Night, candles lit by audience members illuminated the main auditorium.

Soulful renditions were deli-cately interspersed with biblical readings by members of academia, which fostered an atmosphere of sanctification.

Carmen Cuff, a member of the audience, said the production was good.

"It was quite enjoyable. This is my first time here. I've always heard about it and thought it was worth attending."

Dr Marshall was also pleased with the staging of this year's event.

"We are very happy with the support we have garnered from the university and the community. The students worked very hard to make this production a success. We hope the performances have set the tone for the festive season."

Feast of Lights is a premiere event staged by the Department of Music at NCU and has entertained audiences for 44 years. The event has its origins in Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.