Wed | Apr 25, 2018

Classical sounds thrill Second City

Published:Monday | November 25, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Rory Frankson opens for the Toroto Cantata Chorus in concert at the Iberostar Hotel last Thursday night. The event was put on by the Wise Women's Club, a Montego Bay-based charity.
Prince Tebah (left), leader of the Sons of Thunder Drummers, and another group member perfom for the audience at the Toronto Cantata Chorus in concert, held at Iberostar Hotel, last Thursday night. - Photo by Paul Clarke

Karrie Williams, Gleaner Writer

The Toronto Cantata Chorus delivered a brilliant performance in concert at the Iberostar Hotel, Montego Bay on Thursday night.

The show, which opened with Jamaica's premier classical singer, Rory Frankson, was organised by the Wise Women's Club of Montego Bay, a charity which funds higher education for the less fortunate.

Frankson filled the Black River Theatre with beautiful music as his powerful baritone voice belted out favourites such as Danny Boy, Hallelujah, and Time to Say Goodbye before he ended with Nessun Dorma, in tribute to his idol, the late Luciano Pavarotti.

If Pavarotti himself could be there, he would have been impressed and joined in the standing ovation Frankson received.

Following his act, the Sons of Thunder Drummers, led by Prince Tebah, gave a stirring performance.

Then it came time for the highlight of the night. The Toronto Cantata Chorus took to the stage, opening with a religious number, Make His Praise Glorious, conducted by Jason Locke.

Their presentation, in two segments, continued with their performance of French and Chinese folk songs and also featured Bob Marley's One Love, accompanied by Sons of Thunder.

What was clearly one of the highlights of the evening was when a member of the Chorus, Jamaican, Pamella Jones, was featured as a soloist on the song, Summertime.

Her powerful soprano voice earned her a loud ovation from the audience. She capped off the performance by leading in the singing of Jamaica's National Anthem, which ended the two-hour performance.

The Toronto Cantata Chorus is a community choir, consisting of 30 members with diverse interests, based in Canada. The choir is in its 12th season and has toured in countries such as the Philippines and Hong Kong. This was their first time coming to Jamaica.

Prior to the concert, which was co-sponsored by The Gleaner, guests were treated to wine and cheese, courtesy of Caribbean Producers Limited, another one of the sponsors.