Arts & Culture

Singing for Ardenne

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer

Sunday, November 03, 2019

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The University Singers brought the house down for a worthy cause last weekend, as they staged their 'brawta' 2019 concert season in aid of Ardenne Prep and Extension High School.

Fire destroyed a section of the institution in September.

Musical director of the choir Franklin Halliburton expressed that it is imperative that as a group, they play their part in serving their society in whatever way possible.

“Well, we have to give back to the areas where there is need simply because we are a part of our society; We have to pay it forward. we are the beneficiaries of goodwill over the years and persons have thrown their weight behind us, so we have to continue to identify various causes — and once we do that, we do what we have to. That is the only way that our society will become better,” he shared with the Jamaica Observer.

The concerts, which were held at Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies, comprised a programme with 26 stellar performances ranging from classical to contemporary. Standout pieces included a Doxology arranged by Halliburton 11 years ago, and the now-popular medley of hits by reggae artiste Chronixx. This blend of tracks, which includes Warrior, Behind Curtain, I Can and Skankin' Sweet, was arranged by Djenne Greaves. It was introduced into the repertoire of the 'Singers' earlier this year and has been a hit with audiences since.

The University Singers dates back to 1958. It is one of Jamaica's most distinguished choral groups. The late musician, arranger and composer Noel Dexter, who died in August of this year, directed the choir for thirty-three years, while choreographer Professor Rex Nettleford served as artistic director until his death in 2010.


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