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Christmas cheer


Natanga Smith

Christmas cheer

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Area churches, school halls and open areas have come alive all month with the seasonal sounds of comfort, joy and rejoicing. None more so than from the burgeoning a capella group G-Syndicate who seem to have been every and anywhere for the past three weeks.

Once again, the annual Christmas with G-Syndicate was a not-to-be-missed concert.

Held this year at Combermere School’s Major Noott Hall, the now seven-member band’s song list was exceptional if you were looking for more than the usual Christmas music.

The first half of the concert was given over to  20-year-old NIFCA award winning singer/songwriter Joshua Gay and band, The Shift.

Playing the keyboard, Gay was very much into his element, singing from the repertoire of Brian McKnight, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and doing a goosebumps-inducing Every Christmas.

While no one can do it like Luther Vandross, Gay would have made Luther proud.

Up next was DJ Simmons with his spoken word pieces (thought-provoking) and father and son duo of Roger and Myles Gittens (memorable instrumentals).

Sax player Mylon Clarke literally blew the packed hall away with his skills. With his band The Project, Mylon showed his versatility when he seamlessly flowed from O Christmas Tree into the mega Crop Over hit Ah Feeling.

The second half of the concert featured G-Syndicate who presented some non-Christmas songs with a few Christmas songs to remind you why the group is so unique with their arrangements that move the soul in their presentation unlike anyone else.

The group has their original single, I Got This Feeling, on airwaves now, and the crowd got a taste of it. Written and arranged by Derek Marshall (first tenor and musical director)  it was of course “syndicated”, just like all the other songs they did on the night.

Since they are an a capella group they have to be harmonious and bereft of musical instruments. They were the instrumentals and Brett Linton (second tenor, vocal percussion) was more than up to the task, getting help from Khiomal Nurse (first tenor) and Taurean Knight (second tenor, who sang lead on most of the songs) Michael Mercer (baritone) Marc Sealey (baritone and new face) and Antonio Edwards (bass), who had the ladies screaming anytime he went solo.

The playful antics of the band didn’t take anything away from their singing as the charm lent to the finely disciplined blending and balancing of voices.

Angels We have Heard On High, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Give Love On Christmas Day and the thrillingly rendered Maizie, the Red Plastic Bag classic that had Mercer in the role of RPB.

 The crowd took part voraciously in the singing of this song and when G-Syndicate did the “syndicated” 12 Days Of Christmas in a Bajan style, the twists and turns in the song were confusing but that was deliberate and well enjoyed.

In between they did Boyz II Men’s The Birth Of Christ, John King’s How Many More, Michael Jackson’s Heal The World and Human Nature and ended the programme with This Christmas.

But the group didn’t end there, as they stood by the exit shaking hands and thanking everyone for coming out.

The concert was a charity event and part proceeds went to the Hope Foundation.

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