THE FRANK Collymore Hall was not packed to capacity when Part 2 of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) music finals came off Monday night.
But those who attended still had something to cheer about as the finalists gave it their best in trying to impress the judges.
The lighting and sound, however, continued to be a challenge. The former failed to capture the mood of some performances, while the unbalanced nature of the latter affected the quality of some instruments and voices.
But there was no lack of entertainment value.
Singer/pianist Joshua Gay, at 19, has made quite an impact over his short period on the music scene. He even landed an opportunity to represent Barbados at a music festival in Martinique recently. He brings good voice and charisma to stage.
Last Monday was time for him to shine again. He did with an original piece entitled This Is Me. But he was not as captivating in his version of Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed as some of the instruments shouted too much.
The Coleridge & Parry School’s aggregation, comprising a mass choir and a steelpan band, was a hit with the audience. First, the choir rendered an original called Come See and then When I Get There by Kirk Franklyn.
Then, the steel band, under the name CP Unit, did a medley of Biggie Irie’s songs. A redeeming element in the act was the integration of the tuk music in their presentation, which displayed traces of the Barbados Landship. It could not have been a better tribute to the Landship now celebrating its 150th anniversary.
The Pinelands Creative Workshop is an institution not only in NIFCA but nationally. Its mission is to preserve and perpetuate the positives of Barbadian culture.
In this time of Barbados’ 47th year of Independence, the group focused on the heroes of Barbados with a Red Plastic Bag song We Thank You, which was re-arranged by Anthony Sargeant and Tito Gittens. Pinelands also did John King’s Calypso with musical treatment by Sargeant and Tito.
Saxophonist Kieshelle Rawlins is exceptional on alto sax. She should score well in musicianship and interpretation in delivering Potter’s Hand. Even the novelty of a petite individual expressing such confidence on the sax deserved the applause.
Other contributors included clarinetist Anthony Hood accompanied by pianist Roger Worrell and Martie Garnes; the Haynesville Youth Group; pianist Matthew Banfield; singers Rashida Codrington, Munroe Haywood and Third Harmony, and the Combermere Steel Orchestra.