Symphonic delight

Orchestra of the Americas thrills

Saturday, July 26, 2014

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PATRONS attending Thursday evening's Orchestra of the Americas concert at the Church on the Rock in St Andrew, were in for a special music treat.

Under the music director Carlos Miguel Prieto, the group, along with members of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, gave an impressive performance.

Performances of Aragonaise, a selection from Georges Bizet's suites of the Opera Carmen -- Habanera and Les Toresdors -- kept the audienceâs interest high, which included Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness.

Giulio Caccini's Ave Maria and Gilbert & Sullivan's Poor Wandering, arranged by Jamaica's Ian Hird were highlighted by the appearance of another Jamaican, the talented soprano Ana Strachan. Strachan could not hold back her joy onstage. She smiled throughout her performance while rocking to the melody, resulting in the audience cheering in appreciation.

A violin concerto by was to follow. Alexandre Da Costa, who has roots, played a Pyotr Llyich Tchaikovsky Concerto in D Major. Before leaving the stage, he gave the audience an extra treat, performing Manic Depression by Jimi Hendrix alongside a cellist. They were well received.

"I just concentrate on the music. It feels like running a marathon, I have to remain calm and focused," Da Costa told the Jamaica Observer.

The orchestra then played Pass Di Ball, conducted by guest composer, Jamaicaâs Peter Ashbourne. It incorporated bits of well-known Jamaican classics including Long Time Gal by Louise Bennett, Woman a Heavy Load, and Linstead Market.

The concert, however, did not end there. Prieto returned to conduct yet another piece, this time by Mozart. However, it came with a twistas it combined One Love and I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley. The audience was unable to hold back, applauding in delight, and at Prieto's prompting, singing alongside the orchestra.

The orchestra and the audience wished Gabriel Walters, the sole Jamaican in Orchestra of Americas, happy birthday, with the theme being played.

"I really hope that everyone here was able to see that music is love and excitement and happiness. And I'm really glad we could bring this experience to Jamaica," Prieto said, following the performance.

The Orchestra is scheduled to perform at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, this evening.




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