A wonderful evening of classics

BY KEDIESHA PERRY
Observer writer

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Organiser of the Classics in June concert season, Laurice Barnaby, says guests were delighted with the acts at its 15th staging.

“One said: 'It was an absolutely wonderful concert'. Another, commenting on Steven Woodham, said: 'It was the first time she was hearing him live and that he was amazing'. Still, another said that we, the planning committee, had found a really good balance for our programme and urged us to keep that variety and balance going. She further stated that it was great to hear Stephen and Santorini together. Steven Woodham was great as usual. It was very nice to see Shawn (Richards), the flute and guitar really go well together. Yuko was lovely. She concluded that it was a wonderful evening overall,” Barnaby told the Jamaica Observer.

It was held under the patronage of Denys Wibaux, Ambassador of France to Jamaica, and his wife Angelique at The Chapel, The University of the West Indies in St Andrew last Sunday.

Barnaby also described the turnout as excellent, and said some performances stood out to her.

“I loved John Dowland performed by Normali Lumsden Campbell (soprano) and Shawn Richards (guitar) but everybody did so well. For the second half, Gabriel Walters was also a favourite…but everybody delivered and it was really good,” she added.

The concert featured Japanese musicologist Yuko Aoki and Archie Dunkley on piano. There were also appearances by Stephen Shaw-Naar on piano and voice, Shawn Richards on guitar, and Gabriel Walters on violin.

Featured vocalists were Dawn Fuller-Phillips, June Lawson, Nomali Lumsden and Santorini degli Archangeli, the Accel String Quartet and the Church of the Ascension Handbell Choir.

The concert's 15th anniversary also saw several new twists that added to its enjoyment.

“There were many firsts. The first one is new patrons which was the French Ambassador Denys Wibaux who came with his son Mathias. He was very impressed by the pieces. Steven Woodham was also brilliant. This wasn't his first time but he usually plays the violin, and this time he was on viola. The Church of the Ascension, that also performed, has been around for 20 years, but we got them to sing this year. Mrs Aoki from Japan and the Accel String Quartet also did really well,” she said.

The organisers are anticipating the concert's next staging on June 21, 2020.

“We always try to find new talent or oftentimes use the frequent players who are committed to the concert like Steven Woodham and Shaw-Naar, or we invite two people who we haven't seen in a while. However, we hope to have more firsts in 2020. It was a really excellent programme,” she said.


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