It was a concert of good music and good performances or goodwill. Strike The Viol, held to aid medical expenses for Al Eugene last Sunday at the Holy Cross Church, was well done.
At the end of the programme that saw a professional line-up of performers from the Caribbean and Europe, a grateful Al Eugene expressed his thanks.
"Well, it means so much to me to see the amount of people that showed up and the amount of support that I have gotten," he said.
The St Lucian also explained that his ailment has not been diagnosed, so an MRI is to be done. He has been experiencing symptoms that have been affecting his mobility over the last few months. "It is getting worse and worse. I find my ability to walk being hampered." said the young violinist.
Strike the Viol got going with its title selection, an instrumental piece written by Henry Purcell. The piece was performed by vocalist Mickel Gordon, with accompaniment from Alicia Le Strade from Dominica on harpsichord and Eugene on viola.
One of the organisers of the concert, Rosina C. Moder, who acted as MC, told the good turnout it was a fitting way to begin as Eugene plays the viola.
Cellist Alistair Drummond Petri was next with a soothing presentation of Johan Sebastian Bach's Preludio from 1st Cello Suite. He was followed by a good performance from Daren Young on viola.
Jamaica-born vocalist Kimila Isaacs did what she has always done best: sing beautifully. With accompaniment from Shawn Richards on guitar and Moder on recorder, Isaacs delivered a good rendition of Come Again.
She received the first vocal response with a believable interpretation of Dream, Dream, Dream. Later, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts' School of Music (EMC) graduate returned with The Prayer, this time with accompaniment from Peter Ashbourne on piano.
Richards, too, gave a splendid performance of his arrangements, Ring Game Medley and Dis Long Time Gal.
He remained onstage to team up with Israeli-born Vered Saldinger on flute with two traditional Irish folk tunes, the happy-sounding Si Bheag Simor and The Monaghan Jig.
Italy-born and EMC lecturer, Samuele Vivian also made his contribution with his guitar. He played Bob Marley's Redemption Song and one of his compositions, Mediterranea. Both were well received.
After words of greetings and support from St Lucia's Honorary Consular to Jamaica Vitus Evans, The Pimento Players closed the goodwill concert. Comprising of flute, violin, cello and a viola, the group first played Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Merry Sounds from Austria. They returned for an encore performance with Peter Ashbourne's arrangement of Jamaican traditional folk songs.
Other professionals to have contributed to the concert were Althea Neblett on oboe and Ann McNamee on piano.
Strike the Viol Chamber Music Concert was organised by Out of Many one Music in association with the Holy Cross Church.
- Marcia Rowe