Dioce­san Fes­ti­val Choir helps Haiti and Wort­ley Home for Girls

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Mr Raphael ‘Keith’ Sang­ster (sec­ond right), chair­man, and Miss Delores Bai­ley (sec­ond left), su­per­in­ten­dent of the Wort­ley Home for Girls, re­ceive a J$150,000 donation to­wards re­con­struc­tion of the home which was de­stroyed by fire in June 2015. The con­tri­bu­tion, which rep­re­sents the pro­ceeds from the Dioce­san Fes­ti­val Choir’s an­niver­sary con­cert, was pre­sented on Mon­day, Novem­ber 21 by the Rt Rev Robert Thomp­son, Chair­man of the Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee. Wort­ley Home board Mem­ber Mrs Marva Greig (left) shares in the happy oc­ca­sion.

THE WORT­LEY Home for Girls and vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Matthew in Haiti will be the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of pro­ceeds from this year’s Dioce­san Fes­ti­val Choir Christ­mas con­certs.

The 91-year-old choir had a sched­uled per­for­mance on Sun­day at the Univer­sity Chapel, Mona and is set to per­form again on De­cem­ber 4, un­der the ba­ton of ac­com­plished di­rec­tor Ge­of­frey Shields, at the Kingston Parish Church.

Dubbed the ‘Magic of Christ­mas’, the con­cert se­ries fea­ture ex­cerpts from Han­del’s Mes­siah (The Christ­mas sec­tion), other sea­sonal favourites and Ne­gro spir­i­tu­als, as well as per­for­mances by Jamaican vir­tu­oso Paulette Bel­lamy, who will lead the in­stru­men­tal group, Touch of El­e­gance. Dr Richard Beck­ford, pro­fes­sor of mu­sic at South Carolina State Univer­sity, will be guest or­gan­ist. Round­ing out the pack­age is mezzo so­prano Dawn Fuller-Philips.

Shields prom­ises that the con­certs will launch the fes­tive sea­son with a mu­si­cal bang.

“This year, we have an ex­cit­ing blend of pieces we’ve never per­formed before, in­clud­ing cho­ruses that have thrilled au­di­ences world­wide for ages,” said the di­rec­tor who has led the choir for two years, and whose keen mu­si­cal ear and cre­ativ­ity are leg­endary. “Last year was a suc­cess and we have raised the bar fur­ther,” af­firmed Shields.

Bel­lamy, whose ca­reer be­gan at the age of four, is won­der­fully ver­sa­tile. She is a bril­liant pi­anist, vi­o­lin­ist, com­poser and ar­ranger. Beck­ford, the 1983 As­so­ci­ated Board of the Royal Schools of Mu­sic West Indies scholar, has pre­sented or­gan recitals in Nas­sau, Bel­gium, the United States, Europe and Ja­maica, and has also had tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances on the Bri­tish Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion pro­gramme, ‘Songs of Praise.’

Fuller-Philips has de­lighted Jamaican au­di­ences with her per­for­mances on stage with the Na­tional Dance Theatre Com­pany and with the Dioce­san Fes­ti­val Choir.

The Magic of Christ­mas con­certs are be­ing pre­sented un­der the dis­tin­guished pa­tron­age of the Ven­er­a­ble Dr Alvin Stone, re­tired Angli­can Archdea­con of Kingston, and Mrs Stone. The De­cem­ber 4 con­cert is set to be­gin at 5 p.m.

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