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Kingston College Chapel Choir begins four-performance season in Portmore

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | 3:17 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Kingston College Chapel Choir’s Christmas Concert will feature excerpts from Handel’s Messiah; with the four-performance season scheduled to begin at the Church of The Conversion of St Paul in Portmore on Saturday, December 21, at 6:00 pm.

“Because The Messiah is usually sung in December, it is considered a seasonal Christmas work. And, while the first part of the Oratorio does declare the Advent of Christ, the second and third parts feature the drama of Christ’s sacrifice, and thus become the focus of the work,” said Audley Davidson, who has directed the choir since 2008.

The performance will also include two Jamaican compositions – ‘And, She Rocked the Baby to Sleep’, with lyrics by Rev Easton Lee, set to the music of a traditional Jamaican folk song, which was arranged by former KC Chapel Choir director Gordon Appleton; and, ‘Glory Hallelujah’, composed by Henry Robinson and arranged by Grub Cooper, drummer and lead singer of the renowned Fab5 Band. 

Additional concerts by the Choir will be held at The UWI Chapel, Mona, on Sunday December 22, at 5:00 pm; and the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Molynes Road, Sunday December 29, at 5:00 pm. The performances will culminate at St John’s Anglican Church Hall, Milford Road, Ocho Rios on Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm. 

Davidson said that the Choir will be accompanied by Livingston Burnett and an augmented Chamber Orchestra; and will include veteran soloists – Byron Bellamy, bass; and Lieutenant Commander John McFarlane, tenor. The performances will also showcase the new and spectacular voices of Nomali Lumsden and Danielle Watson, sopranos; as well as, Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo- soprano, who will perform with the choir on December 21 and 22.  

Bryce-Davis, who was born in Mexico of Jamaican parentage, was recently hailed by the New York Times as a “striking mezzo-soprano that sang and spoke potently and moved vivaciously.”  

She has also been commended by Opera News as, “One who held the stage with admirable intensity and commitment and didn't shy away from tapping into notes of lust, rage, and despair.”  

Bryce-Davis will arrive in Jamaica fresh from her December 7 performance of ‘The Messiah’ with the St Mark’s United Methodist Church Choir in Harlem, New York.

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