Classics in June this eveningSunday, June 20, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
ALTHOUGH this year's staging of Classics in June will be virtual, organiser of the event/flautist Laurice Barnaby says viewers can still expect the same quality of performances.
“The concert will feature a variety of instruments including, for the first time, a harp, a world-class opera singer, and well-known and highly acclaimed local artistes. The programme covers a range of music from different periods and also Jamaican music with a classical twist, composed by Peter Ashbourne. Classics in June has always sought to present talented young people, and this year is no exception. The special guest artiste for this year's show is Raehann Bryce-Davis, a mezzo soprano of Jamaican parentage who has been receiving rave reviews on the international opera scene. She is accompanied by Robert Gonnella, pianist,” Barnaby told the Jamaica Observer.
The evening's programme as well as Zoom links are available on the Soroptimist International Jamaica, Kingston's Facebook page. It is slated to start at 2:00 pm.
This evening's other artistes are: Yuko Aoki, pianist; Santorini degli Archangeli, tenor; Eric Barchiesi, pianist; Livingston Burnett, pianist; Lori Burnett, soprano; Emily Dixon, violoncellist; Yanique Leiba-Ebanks, pianist; 15-year-old Juliana Matteo, harpist; Shawn Richards, guitarist; Rafael Salazar, clarinettist; Gabriel Walters, violinist; and Steven Woodham, violinist and Gold Musgrave Medal recipient, 2021.
This year's beneficiaries of the concert are the Jamaica National Children's Home and Shortwood United Church Early Childhood Development Centre. Viewers may make a contribution of $2,500 or US$25 via active links on the Facebook page.
Barnaby said Soroptimist International of Jamaica, Kingston (SIJK) has had a long-standing relationship with the beneficiaries.
“The club was involved in the founding of the Shortwood United [Church] Early Childhood Development Centre in the 1970s when it was a basic school, and has had a long relationship with the Jamaica National Children's Home. In the past the club has also supported Dare to Care, Teen Challenge, and the School for the Blind,” she said.
The annual concert, which started in 2005, was halted last year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Barnaby said it was no easy feat planning this year's first virtual staging.
“It was a learning experience with quite a few challenges. While the format allowed us to include artistes from across the world, it also meant having to communicate, negotiate and finalise details across different time zones, and required us to adapt to varying technical requirements. It is also more costly than to have a regular concert. The planning committee fortunately has benefited as events unfolded from the level of professionalism of the performers, the expertise of the technical team, and commitment of hard-working and expert Soroptimists such as the president of the Soroptimist International of Jamaica, Kingston (SIJK) Sonia Black; Dr Loraine Barnaby, co-chair; PR expert, Dr Carroll Edwards; our treasurer Evelyn Bloomfield; Rosette Salazar, technical expert as a singer in the classical genre; Maxine Wedderburn; Stephney Ferguson; Gail Hoad; Elaine Brouers; Rev Dr Venice Guntley-McKenzie; and Sandra Shirley. We have also been fortunate once again to have strong support from 'Soroptimisters' Pierre Lemaire and Dervan Malcolm,” she explained.
Performers from previous Classics in June concerts include flautist Michele Boulet, and Stephen Shaw-Naar, pianist (2007); eight-year-old Ellinor D'Melon, violinist born in Jamaica to Cuban parents and now an accomplished international artiste, and her mother Olga Moraguez, pianist (2008); and Dwight McBean, organist (2014).
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