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Language of Music speaks for charity

By Rory Daley
Observer writer

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

PATRONS at last Sunday's The Language of Music charity concert at St Andrew Parish Church in Kingston got a treat. They were introduced to delightful new arrangements by American musicians Dr Chan Kiat Lim and Shawn Roy.

Lim, a classical pianist, and bass-barritone opera singer Roy, were the headline acts. Proceeds went to the church's outreach projects which focus on youth, women, the elderly and indigent in Half-Way-Tree and its environs.

“You're the first to get it; this is our debut performance of this arrangement. We'll be taking this back to Louisiana with us. We'll be performing it in Houston and a couple other locations,” Roy told the Jamaica Observer.

“We did choose an African -American composer just because we wanted to promote more female composers, and also minority performers, in having a more diverse programme,” Dr Lim explained.

Lim and Roy have worked together for more than 15 years. In 2012 the came out with the album — An American Kaleidoscope. They were invited to Jamaica by a Jamaican student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where they work.

The programme was split in two, featuring primarily German composers in the opening and American composers in the second half; German composer Clara Schumann and African American composer Florence Price were new additions.

The pair performed Schuman's Liebst du um Schönheit, Warum willst du and 'refragen and Er ist gekommen, which proved the perfect foil for Price whose Negro spirituals were laced with humourous lyrics. The audience was captivated as the programme switched from the delicate tones of Lim on piano to the animated Roy, who belted out Price's compositions.

“It's packed. The audience has been very receptive, so it's good to see a lot of people out here to support us,” Lim said.

They loved the performances of the Jamaica Youth Chorale with whom they shared the stage.

“We really thoroughly enjoyed the chorale. They were just wonderful,” Lim and Price said.

Marie E Casserly-Rademacher, chairman of the St Andrew Parish Foundation, was happy with the turnout and show. She said the funds raised will be put to good use.

“In the spirit of our motto, 'Hands of Friendship, Touching Lives', the proceeds of this benefit concert will be directed to the specific needs of the outreach community whom we serve, including our girls at the St Andrew Parish Home for Girls and street boys,” Casserly-Rademacher said.