Festival Song classes to start


Festival Song classes to start

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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IN an effort to boost the chances of prospective contestants ahead of the 2020 staging of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) will be hosting a series of development seminars.

The workshops are to target high-quality songwriters, performers, and producers who believe they can deliver a song that will form the backdrop of the country's 58th Independence celebrations.

The seminars will be in four regions across the island, starting with the Northern Region on Thursday, January 30, at Casa Maria Hotel in Port Maria, St Mary. The Northern Region comprises the parishes of Portland, St Mary, and St Ann.

On January 31, the venue will be Mandeville Hotel and will cover the Central Region of Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth.

The series will continue on Tuesday, February 4, at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority Office (RADA), Catherine Hall, Montego Bay (Western Region — Trelawny, St James, Hanover, Westmoreland) and wrap up on Friday, February 7, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro), Kingston (Eastern Region — Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas).

The sessions start at 9:00 am daily.

Seminar participants can expect to learn the rudiments of the music business, techniques and approaches as they prepare their songs for this year's competition.

The series has previously seen experienced music practitioners, including Mikey Bennett, Computer Paul and Nigel Staff, sharing with participants.

Director of marketing and public relations at the JCDC Andrew Clunis said: “We treat these seminars very seriously. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained in the areas of songwriting, composition, vocal delivery, production, image and branding and other areas. Aspiring artistes should not miss out on these free sessions as they can make a very contribution to kick starting their careers.”

Chairman of the Jamaica Festival Song Organising Committee Orville Hill said: “The Festival Song' is the oldest song competition in Jamaica; it is also the only original song competition and the best-paying competition. This year we want to make a very bold statement and so we want persons to come to these workshops and benefit from the knowledge and ensure they get their entries in by the closing date of February 28.”

Last year's Festival Song Competition winner was Raldene “Loaded Eagle” Dyer with Big Up Jamaica.

The competiton is one of the longest-running original song competitions in Jamaica and continues to unearth and showcase several talented individuals each year. A signature programme of the JCDC, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, this competition, which started in 1966, continues to serve as a musical platform for cultural exposition and for entrants to make an indelible mark on Jamaica and the world. The competition boasts past winners like Toots and the Maytals, Desmond Decker, Eric Donaldson, Roy Rayon and Stanley Beckford.

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