North & East

Military bands thrill at Portland's evening of excellence

Monday, September 03, 2018

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PORTLANDERS who turned up last Sunday for an evening of excellence at Port Antonio High School auditorium were not disappointed, as the Jamaica Military Band put on a show that will be remembered years to come.

The tone was set early by master of ceremonies Tricia Thompson and the band, which got going at 4:30 pm as host Custos Rotulorum of Portland Major Lincoln Thaxter launched the Portland leg of the annual 'Poppy Appeal' for Curphey Home, in honour of ex-servicemen who served in World Wars I and II.

Portland bandmaster Paul Johnson directed the band in classical music; Fanfare and Siloquy, Morning Noon and Night, Beautiful Blue Danube, and Hitsville USA to the end the first session. They received thunderous applause from the audience.

Buff Bay Independent Baptist Church Youth Choir's presence was felt, as Dr Mark Aldrae led with a gospel selection from Ron Kenoley – All Hail Emmanuel. The choir also sang King Jesus, which permeated the atmosphere.

Four-year-old Joel Forrester and his mother Andrea kicked off part two of the show with a rendition of Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry. Joel manned the drums as his mother sang. The pair ended their performance with a gospel song medley.

The performance was followed by one from Gregory Nicholson and the military band, the tempo heightened by their performance of Despacito and Cartoon Symphony.

Kymani Burke, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission 2018 gold medallist performed Lou Rawls' What's the Matter with the World to the crowd's delight

Johnson returned to direct Tribute to Don Drummond with leads from lance corporals Ferdinand Campbell, Leroy Newell, and Barbara Brandford-Witter causing patrons to rock in their seats.

The band up the tempo with a combination of ska, rocksteady and reggae called yard vibes as patrons got up and danced to hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and onward including Tarrus Riley's She's Royal.

—Everard Owen

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