Majorie Whylie lauded in song
"HUMBLED and honoured." Those are the words used by Marjorie Whylie, veteran musician and former National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) musical director, following a performance in her honour by the musicians and singers of the renowned troupe at their Tom Redcam Road-based studio in St Andrew, on Sunday.
The concert will be held every other year.
"I am so pleased with what I have seen and heard tonight. The Professor (the late Rex Nettleford) left us to deal with continuity and renewal and we are seeing this very clear and strong," said Whylie, who served the NDTC for more than 40 years.
"The blend and sound of the voices ... I was very taken by that," she continued.
The evening's programme featured the music for the Yuletide season, some of Whylie's original work, as well as the music associated with the dances from the the troupe repertoire.
The audience was moved by a performance by guest soloist Jhana Williams -- an NDTC Singers alum, who now calls Japan home. Her flawless delivery on Barry Chevannes' Fi Mi Lawd Great drew thunderous applause from the audience.
The singers would again move the audience with the Medley Rebel Music, which featured works of Jamaican artistes including Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Chronixx, and Third World.
But, as if saving the best for last, it was the performance of songs from the Nettleford-choreographed Gerrehbenta and the revival suite which closed the show had the audience rocking.
The Gerrehbenta segment featured tenor Carl Bliss and sparked sing-along by the audience. So did the revival suite which comprised perennial favourites Awake Zion Awake, Anchor Your Soul, Rock My Soul and the 23rd Psalm.