NYOJ in classic form

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer writer

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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IT was an evening of delightful and soothing music on the lawns of the Canadian High Commissioner's Seymour Avenue residence last Sunday, where the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ) launched its Canada Dream Tour.

Under the patronage of High Commissioner H E Ready and Mrs Ready, the concert dubbed 'Dream Tour: A Musical Evening', featured pieces from classical masters such as Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. But there were also renditions of contemporary and traditional Jamaican music.

After opening with Symphony No 13, followed by Symphony No 11 and No 2, the all-school orchestra went into the Apollo Suite, Folk Song Suite, Palladio, Stretch Time, Man in The Mirror, Rivers of Babylon and Wings of a Dove.

Paulette Bellamy's arrangement of The Melodians' Rivers of Babylon, Jon Williams' reworking of Michael Jackson's Man in The Mirror and Wings of a Dove, arranged by Darren Young, were riveting.

Wings of a Dove, which brought the curtain down, got the fair-sized audience animated. Patrons swayed to one of reggae's true classics.

The NYOJ is an Non-Government Organisation that uses classical music as a tool to empower youth, especially those at risk.

Jordon Crawford, a member of the NYOJ, paid homage to the group in his poem, NYOJ, My Extended Family:

"Not knowing anything about music

Well, apart from my love for it,

But since joining this programme

It has had me unable to sit....

I have become a part of a family,

Away from mine at home.

But I love them like no other

And think of them as my own."

The 25-member NYOJ are scheduled to leave for Canada next month for performances in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.


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