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Sweet vibes in the Park

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Sweet vibes in the Park
Christmas Morning In The Park regulars, the “Claus family”, with the men of the dapperly-dressed group normally led by Irvine “Big Red” Street. Leading the group yesterday in Street’s absence was Ronald Prescott. (Picture by Gercine Carter.)


The festive air in Queen’s Park on Christmas morning this year overshadowed the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a mere handful of spectators positioned around the bandstand at the beginning, the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, under the baton of director Andrew Lynch, struck up promptly at 7 a.m. and the strains of evergreen Christmas music began wafting through the air.

Though the number of park-goers did not swell to the usual hundreds as the morning went on, and there was not the traditional parade of hats and fashion, or the heavy promenading along the main thoroughfare, patrons were still upbeat, dancing and swaying and singing along to their favourite selections.

Originally in doubt, the police band concert was reduced from two hours to one and a half hours. But with vocal performances by songbird Trinity Clarke and the band’s own Constables Tanya Maughn and Anthony Hood, and the new find, the crowd’s singing heartthrob Constable Kevin Cox (below), it was rich in content and the audience showed their appreciation with repeated applause.

The concert opened with the bang playing the standard Christians Awake, Salute The Happy Morn, followed by a set of instrumental selections, before the growing audience was fully awakened by the powerful voice of featured soloist Clarke with the carol O Holy Night.

Sweet vibes in the ParkHood serenaded with a rendition of Give Love On Christmas Day while his colleague Maughn, considered by some supporters as the voice of the band, was in usual good nick with Some Day At Christmas and Do You Hear What I Hear.

But it was drummer Kevin Cox, taking over the Christmas morning role of former director Keith Ellis, who always moved the crowd with his vocals, that left people swooning as he belted out Luther Vandross’ Every Year, Every Christmas.

For British visitors Russell Davison and Kate Evans, it was a “marvellous” affair in “the best country in the world”. The two escaped the COVID-19 wave sweeping across Britain for Barbados, their first visit to the island, and they could not be happier living “out in St Philip” in a house they have rented for seven months.

The police band had hardly sounded its closing note when the band Promise struck up near Queen’s Park House, continuing with a lively set of gospel music, to take Christmas Morning In The Park to a crescendo. (GC)