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Philharmonic Orchestra, University Singers unite for Spring Concert

Published:Thursday | April 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica (POJ) will stage its annual Spring Concert Season on May 6 and 7 at the University Chapel, Mona.

A feature of this year's programme will be the collaboration with the highly acclaimed University Singers, who are slated to perform a mixture of classical pieces, opera, and cutting-edge Jamaican works.

For conductor of the POJ Franklin Halliburton, who also doubles as musical director of the University Singers, the collaboration between the two groups has been a desire of his and on the drawing board for a while but has never materialised until now and "in the fullness of time".

Top Cuban clarinettist Rafael Salazar and principal oboist of the POJ Dr Althea Neblett will headline the instrumental soloists for the Spring Concert. Also performing popular classical pieces will be Concertmaster Kester Reid on violin and principal cellist Emily Dixon.

The orchestra has been delighting local audiences since 2013 with a fresh and entertaining blend of the well-loved classics along with exciting new works from a number of Jamaican composers including Dr Andrew Marshall, Peter Ashbourne, Paulette Bellamy, and Ted Runcie. At its official launch in November 2015, the two-hour-long programme was filled exclusively with classical works from Jamaican composers.

"I anticipate a rich and enjoyable evening of entertainment as the pieces have been selected to complement the strengths and interests of both groups," said Halliburton.