by Latoya Burnham
Rounds of applause, standing ovations, and screams enough to bring the ceiling down punctuated performances by students in the Combermere School hall today as an America-based music foundation paid a visit.
The Travelling Guitar Foundation, led by executive director Sandra Trim-DaCosta and director of West Coast Programmes, Derek McKeith, led students of five schools through a bit of history of music and instruction in an interactive session.
The team, which is here for the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari at which a number of the accompanying artists will be performing over the next few days, noted that there was an abundance of talent in the schools.
Advisory board member and head of Taylor Made Jazz, Van Taylor, had students from Combermere, Coleridge and Parry, Lester Vaughan, Foundation and Parkinson Memorial doing a bit of scat, with an audience of their peers following their lead and an all-boys section beep-bopping the drumline.
Promoter and organiser of Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari, Tom Hinds noted that from Barbados, he and the team would be travelling on to Antigua, St. Vincent and Grenada.
McKeith, gave the students a guitar session, followed by some R&B, while Taylor’s performances were on keyboard with some intro to scat.
The two were then followed by a rap session with artist Stereo H, accompanied by McKeith as well. McKeith then opened the floor to see what the students could go and told them after the first few performances that he was not only impressed by what they could do, but also by their enthusiasm to show their talents.
The first up was an awesome trio from Parkinson School. Led by fourth former Amber Barrow, the team of fifth years, Samantha Romain and Alicia Lloyd, gave a stirring rendition of Adele’s Someone Like You.
As the group ended the selection, McKeith looked visibly impressed, and equally so for Combermere student Gabriel Sobers on guitar. From the time the youth took to the stage his schoolmates were cheering, and when he started to sing, strumming on his guitar it was evident what all the fuss was about.
Andreen McLean and Mequissa Baptiste singing Rihanna’s Diamonds and spoken word artist Lamar Howard were others who received rousing response from both students and musicians following their performances.
At the end of the sessions, each of the participating schools was presented with a Schecter acoustic/electric guitar by the foundation and encouraged to use them to expand and enhance their talents.
Combermere Principal Vere Parris also encouraged the students to develop their talents, telling them they would not know how far music could take them until they made the effort. firstname.lastname@example.org