Asha top school singer
THE BUDDING TALENT taking root in some of the island’s secondary schools blossomed on the Parkinson Secondary School stage on Saturday, at the annual Inter-School Singing Competition.
It was a tightly contested race for top prize and its associated bragging rights, but in the end Coleridge & Parry’s Asha Ward cinched first place with a moving rendition of At Last. Even though there were some issues with her diction, the emotion of the popular R&B/Soul standard was strong enough to beat out her 17 competitors, representing ten secondary schools.
Hot on Ward’s heels was crowd favourite Rashida Codrington. The Ellerslie Secondary student was flawless in the delivery of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and exuded a comfort with self, stage and audience – tools in limited supply among the performers.
Home drums rounded off the top three with Ashawnya Bellamy’s rendition of And I Am Telling You. She had more than a few fans in the audience, who chanted her name as she crossed the stage. It was not hard to see why. The Parkinson student can sing.
And I?Am Telling You is not a song for the faint of voice, but Bellamy worked it to her range, drawing in the crowd with every chord. She was the only singer to earn a well-deserved standing ovation.
Even though Ward, Codrington and Bellamy may have ended up on the winner’s row, there were other outstanding acts of the 18 gracing the Parkinson Memorial stage – and Unique was one. The three-member girl group from Graydon Sealy Secondary brought a refreshing climax to the contest with striking harmonies and a good song choice in Unconditional.
Shamain Hendrickson chose I See Fire, a song which was not as popular with the audience, but still impressed with a lilting, soft rock vibe.
Also participating were: Jamina Smith, Sharisa Ambrose, Ravine Ambrose, Kayla Thorpe, Roshana Alleyne, Claire Hunte, Marielle Shorey, Tia Philips, Jelesa Walkes, Mia Taylor, Latisha Whitney, Deandre Holder and Mequissa Baptiste.