Singing was on display during the North Music Festival’s morning session on Monday as the finals of four vocal classes were held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann's. Adjudicator Roselyn Ward commended all participants in the solo and choral categories and encouraged them to keep singing.
The vocal solo class for boys ages 11-12 years old saw Gabriel Marin of Fatima College, Aodhan Nanton of St Anthony’s College, and Joshua Thompson of Westport SDA Primary place first, second and third respectively, singing the test piece Lurking in the Pond by C Cowles and K Cowles. Before announcing the places, Ward told the 19 competitors that they should bring the story in the song alive by using facial expression and body movement. She also gave them tips on posture, how to stand, relax and breathe on stage, and reminded them that they should try to match the pitch and speed of what is being played on the piano.
The test piece for the girls’ vocal duet for ages 16-21 years was Old MacDonald Had A Farm, arranged by Phillis Tate. The composition tested the singers’ abilities to change key, hold notes, stay on pitch and switch speeds. Ward said the performers explored all the comedic possibilities the song had to offer, and used movement, facial expressions and in some cases costuming, to tell the story of the song. Third place went to Journee Cunningham and Ebony Smith of Bishop Anstey High School, Port of Spain, and second place was awarded to Misty-Ann Knights and Trichell Joseph of UTT’s Academy of the Performing Arts. There was a tie for first place between Clarice Beeput and Alexis Snaggs of St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, and Renee Lawrence and Rhonique Knowles of the Universtity of the Southern Caribbean (USC). Beeput and Snagg’s performance had the audience in stitches as they dressed as a farmer and a cow, and the song ended with the farmer chasing the cow off the stage.
The 21 years and under junior choirs blended voices beautifully in the song As Long As I Have Music, by D Besig and N Price, which spoke about the power of music to help people get through the hardest of times.
The Port of Spain Youth Choir, conducted by Lorraine Granderson, placed third, while the Bishop Anstey High School Choir, conducted by Adafi Padmore, came in second place. The Symphony of Saints, a combined choir of students from St Joseph’s Convent and St Mary’s College, and conducted by John Michael Thomas, placed first. Ward said nothing beats the sound of blended voices in a choir and commended all five entrants on their beautiful performances.
The final class of the morning was the mixed voices secondary school choirs for 21 years and under. Their test piece was Saints Bound for Heaven by J King and W Walker, arranged by Lloyd Larson. There were only two entrants in the category. The Providence and Queen’s Royal Mixed Choir, conducted by Natalia Dopwell, placed second, while the PoS Youth Choir was awarded first place. Ward said the song was a fusion of an old Quaker song with new words added, and while both choirs did very well, she appreciated the faster tempo set by the Youth Choir.