July 2023 Volume 19

CHASE treats Guests to stirring performances on 20th Anniversary Event

Reprinted from Jamaica Gleaner
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In celebration of its 20th anniversary of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund (CHASE) guests were treated to a special concert recently at The University Chapel by performers who were given support under the fund’s arts and culture portfolio.

The multi-award-winning Kingston College Chapel Choir laid the foundation for the evening with sacred music. Under the direction of conductor, Audley Davidson, the choir opened the show with the all-time favourites: Jubilance by Linda Spevacek, Caribbean Hallelujah by Beryl Donaldson, and Sing to the Lord on High, by JF Hayen, arranged by Edward Forsythe.

Keeping the momentum, La Musicación Compagnie rolled out a lively well-received Blood Medley, Sing We Chant It and Redemption Songs. Hugh Douse, founder and conductor of the Nexus Performing Arts Company, conducted the group’s performance of Old Man River, before his solo performance of Miss Lou Medley , which included a bit of folk dance to complement the tune. He was joined by the compère for the evening, Fae Ellington, who demonstrated her mastery in Jamaican traditional folk dances.

The Jamaica Youth Chorale justified its place as one of the leading choirs in Jamaica, with their rich performances of And Then Shall Your Light Break Forth and I Love You/What a Wonderful World performed by soloist, Davyd-Paul Alberts. A highlight of the show was JYC soloist, Sherona Forrester’s expressive execution of the LTM pantomime song One Thing Leads to Another.

The only instrumental offering for the evening came from Andrew Comrie, a CHASE scholarship beneficiary who engaged support from fellow clarinettists Joshua Creary, Andrew Edwards, Aldre Merchant and Travis Hunter. The three sopranos on the programme were Carline Waugh, Sashekia Brown, and Danielle Watson, all three delivered mesmerising performances to a most appreciative audience.

Dr Carline Waugh’s presentation of I Don’t Feel No-Ways Tired arranged by Jacqueline B. Hairston, showed off her superior vocal range and flexibility and earned her praise.

Stephen Shaw-Naar, Waugh, Brown and Watson sang Italian Street Song from the operetta Naughty Mariettaby Victor Herbert, embellishing the performance with theatrics to the delight of the audience.

All performers joined for a scintillating performance of Noel Dexter’s Psalm 27 receiving the ultimate accolade … a standing ovation. The combined choir closed the concert with Psalm 150 (Oh Praise Ye the Lord) with the appreciative audience joining in.

Chairman of the CHASE Fund, Omar Frith, in his welcome, said that it was “gratifying to note that our efforts have had a wide-ranging impact on our beneficiaries islandwide, be it in infrastructure upgrade and development, institutional strengthening, training or providing medical assistance for critically ill Jamaicans”.

He shared that all performers had benefited from the support of the CHASE Fund having received scholarships, support for performances and tours at home and abroad, as well as assistance to produce albums. Frith acknowledged the contribution of directors and representatives from the various government ministries and agencies that support CHASE’s mandate, and thanked CEO, W. Billy Heaven and the staff for their commitment.

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