Entertainment

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for JA

Sunday, July 01, 2012    

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THE Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be staging two performances in Jamaica during September.

The first, at the Northern Caribbean University in Manchester on September 13, while the other is on Saturday, September 15, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston.

The performances will be under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency, the Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen.

The orchestra's visit and concerts are being organised by the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with all proceeds in aid of its "Music for Social Change" programme, which provides free classical music lessons for at-risk youth, to positively impact their self-esteem, values and aspirations.

The orchestra will perform works by Mozart, Bach and Holst, as well as compositions by special guest composers Peter Ashbourne, the Jamaican classical visionary and Shirley Thompson, the ground-breaking UK- based Jamaican composer, who will each conduct the orchestra in their original scores. In addition, foremost Jamaican classical violinist Steven Woodham will lead the RPO as a solo violinist and partner with the young Jamaican violin sensation Naomi Reitzin.

During their weeklong visit to Jamaica members of the RPO will hold creative classical workshops at high schools, private music centres and NYOJ training centres, as well as master classes at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts.

The NYOJ is engaged in empowering children from vulnerable social groups through classical music training. Their programme is based at St. Andrew Technical High School on Spanish Town Road and Kingston College's Melbourne Campus. The organisation recruits children between the ages of 10 and 18 from nearby primary and secondary schools. Since operations began at the end of 2009, NYOJ has enrolled over 200 students, fostering emotional and intellectual development through a myriad of creative classes, workshops and performances.

Speaking of these upcoming concerts in Jamaica, Dr Nigel Clarke, chairman of the NYOJ said: "An orchestra of this standing and prestige has not performed in Jamaica in thirty, maybe forty years. This is, therefore, a once-in-a-generation event, and will be of tremendous inspirational value to music lovers and musicians across Jamaica."

The group has toured and performed to sold-out concerts in more than thirty countries in the last five years, including China, Japan, Egypt, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, the USA and Azerbaijan. The orchestra is also recognised for its innovative outreach programme, "RPO Resound", which has provided artistic courses to engaged marginalised groups across the world since 1993.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's visit to Jamaica is being made possible by sponsorship from Digicel, the National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited and Supreme Ventures Limited. The events are officially endorsed and listed under the Jamaica 50 celebrations.

Tickets are available in Mandeville at Fontana Pharmacy, Digicel Willowgate Plaza and OMG Restaurant & Coffee Bar and in Kingston at Cannonball Cafe, Shields & Shields, Music Mart and Digicel/Anbell New Kingston.

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