Fri | Jun 2, 2023

Artistes to bring ‘upful’ messages to Tarrant High School for Child Month

Published:Wednesday | May 24, 2023 | 1:06 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Major Paul Hall, principal of Tarrant High School.
Major Paul Hall, principal of Tarrant High School.
Roots reggae singer and music educator, Kimmy Gold.
Roots reggae singer and music educator, Kimmy Gold.
Warrior King.
Warrior King.
Aza Lineage in performance at the launch of Reggae Month.
Aza Lineage in performance at the launch of Reggae Month.

Principal of the Tarrant High School in St Andrew, Major Paul Hall, has a treat in store for his students on May 26. In celebration of Child Month, a line-up of conscious reggae artistes will perform at a concert at the school, bringing positive messages of peace, unity and “upfulness”.

Hall, who is uncompromising when it comes to enhancing the lives of his students, sees it as vital to expose his charges to music that will resonate in a way that will help to mould them into being better citizens. Guided by the expertise of music teacher, Kimberlyn Goldson – who Hall gave a clear outline and asked to put together the event for May 26 – Hall and his team will present an entertainment package comprising Aza Lineage, Yaadcore, Warrior King, Karbon, and Kimmy Gold.

“Miss Goldson is also a reggae singer who goes by the name Kimmy Gold, so since it was Child Month, we asked her to put together a concert and she did a good job. She must be commended,” Hall said.

“We recognise that most of the times, the kids are occupied by lyrics that are not good for them. I am not bashing anybody here ... but we are hoping that the children will listen to and learn the other side of the culture – the conscious side. There is too much focus on scamming and chopping, so we want them to hear something different,” Hall added.

The thread that weaves these entertainers together is their commitment to a high lyrical standard and Rastafari. Aza Lineage, who has performed on Rototom Sunsplash and Rebel Salute, toured Mexico in March in support of her debut EP Kingston to Cali; Yaadcoore, wears many hats, among them selector, producer, curator, and artiste; Virtuous Woman singer, Warrior King, is known internationally for his music that is focused on messages about education and uplifting women; up-and-coming entertainer Karbon “does music that brings healing”, and Kimmy Gold specialises in roots rocks reggae.

“We wanted to do something special for the students. It’s my first year working here and I was asked to arrange a concert, whether it would be the teachers’ performing or artistes from the music fraternity. I linked with Bridgett Anderson of Firstborn Entertainment and she assisted with getting the entertainers. And it is important to note that all of them are doing this for free ... so a big thanks to everybody,” Kimmy Gold shared.


She echoed Hall’s sentiments of exposing the students to “roots and culture and upfulness” through the music, but she also added another dimension as it relates to the overall appreciation of music, whether it is classical, culture or dancehall.

“As their music teacher, I think that they also need to know how to be an audience. The audience can sit, listen and critique, whether you like the music or not. It is probably a start for me in getting them to be a receptive audience,” Kimmy Gold said.

She has already introduced them to her own music through her track Running African, which was one of the songs that the choir performed on the popular television series All Together Sing.

“My students know that I am an artiste and they show an interest in my roots music. Especially as an educator who is responsible for moulding young minds, I have to be aware of the impact of my music. I was very happy when they loved Running African,” said Kimmy Gold, who, prior to carving out her solo career, toured Europe with the Uprising Roots Band.

Among her songs are Balance and Can’t be Ungrateful to Reggae Music. Having toured Switzerland as a solo act, she subsequently teamed up with Swiss label Duke Production to release her first solo album titled Black Woman’s Glory.

With May 26 being celebrated as Children’s Day, Hall’s main focus is to “show [his students] love” on the day set apart for them.

The Molynes Road-based school has had what is known as “a reputation”, which Hall is credited with help to turn around since he took over in 2017. Last month, however, Tarrant made the news when an altercation involving two students led to the police being called in and a cop discharging his firearm “to restore calm”.

That incident, Hall said, was a “one-off”.

“We have been doing very well and the evidence is there to show. We have gone down from six fights per day to none. Unfortunately, that incident was carried in the media as if it is the norm,” Hall said.

Known for his innovations, Hall introduced a robotics and animation club to the school, and has even had students sit animation and design gaming in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination and passed.

He now has his sights set on building a recording studio at Tarrant High.

“We are 50 per cent on target with our studio and the children are looking forward to it,” an upbeat Hall shared. “Our students are talented and we want to bring out their creativity in every area.”