Last weekend, March 1, 2014, Kingston Jamaica’s Best School Band Competition “ The Music Champs” was launched on the grounds of the Music Mart in The event is the brain child of Rayven Amani. Hosted by Peter Harvey, greetings and salutations were given and by extension thanks to all who turned out to support the youths presenting for the evening.
The Competition is geared towards providing a “platform where, generations of talented youngsters who possess the passion to take our music to another level, is nurtured, mentored inspired and rewarded”. With this in proper context, the showcase of young talent began after a brief welcome from Frankie Campbell (guitarist and Band Manager for Fab 5).
The first band to showcase their skills was Alpha DMTJ Youth Band, who had been playing together for four (4) years and consisting of four (4) members. Their performance was very encouraging and showcased a potent lead singer. Peter Harvey provided whimsical but appropriate encouragement to the youth in his interaction with the members stressing the point that the youth are the future of the movement.
After the band’s set was completed, they had eased through renditions of Romain Virgo’s “Cyaan Sleep”, and John Legend’s “Stay with You” along with some other pieces. At this juncture in the programme, Cordel Green, the Director of the Broadcasting Commission was introduced and he brought his greetings to the proceedings. His advice to the youth was to start small as many great ones had done and dream big.
The next band on the stand was Donald Quarrie High School which was formed in 2011. They performed confidently delivering music from Chronixx and Gregory Isaacs. Rayven Amani then stepped up to add her thanks for the support showed by main sponsors Music Mart and BLAK IWA TV along with Veggie Meals and Wheels and Tony Carrabano. She announced the prizes for the competition, the most outstanding male and female, best band leader, main prize JSBC trophy, most disciplined band and an offer to have the winner perform on Next year’s Rebel Salute, instrumental prizes from Music Mart and a recording session with Mikey Bennett Legendary Produce for the winning band.
The final performance for the evening was the Pembrook Hall High School. They were especially well received by the small gathering of teachers parents and supporters. Complete with two lead singers, a horn section, flute section, they definitely made an impression with renditions from Romain Virgo, Gregory Isaacs, Chronixx, Bob Marley, Dawn Penn, Beres Ford Hammond and Queen Ifrika. Post performance, the female singer was rewarded with a free t-shirt presented by Tonny Cabborno.
A few important points to note, the first preliminary round of competition begins on March 15, 2014 at the Holy Child Hood School. The finals will be held at Edna Manley College on April 13th. Sun City Radio will carry the band performances every Wednesday between 4 and 5 pm. Jamaica’s Best School Band Competition is” where the music lives on”. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more and BLAK IWA TV will lend its support as well. This one is for the youths.
Blissings and Love
Ahead of Straight talk this Thursday night on BLAK IWA TV, co-producer for this weeks show "Bakijani" created this so that listeners could prepare their minds and spirit. #UbuntuMode
Where is your love Jamaica?
It is the year 2014, yet woefully, people still cling to the notion of traditional sports. Unfortunately, a man such as Mike Fennell, acclaimed to be well versed in all the sporting endeavors of Jamaica’s athletes was oblivious to the existence of the Jamaica Taekwondo Association (JTA) and its affiliation with the world governing body, the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). Very recently, Wolmeriane alumni pursuing their tertiary education at the University of the West Indies (UWI), emerged victors in several chess games over their Yale and Arizona State University counterparts. After the fore mentioned international chess tournament, the Jamaican Chess team ranked as the second best team which took part. Moreover, even though many Jamaicans are unaware, we do possess a wealth of successful chess players and even a few grandmasters. I say this to say that no extraordinary importance should be placed on any single sport simply because of its popularity or our ability to excel at it. As sports they all need to be acknowledged as inspiring, uplifting and unifying; thus raising the bar of our overall competitive edge.
In the year 1988, Jamaica made its bobsledding debut at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Being a tropical island paradise and having sunshine all year round, yet being able to compete in any edition of the Winter Olympic Games points to the limitless sporting possibilities and potentials of this great nation. Obviously, the contingent sent to represent a tropical nation participating in winter sports would be automatically seen as underdogs. Nevertheless, since her appearance in 1988, Jamaica has been able to send teams to the Winter Olympics for the subsequent editions of 1992 and 1994 and several worldwide and regional championships. They had very little practice going down a bobsled track, and a lack of optimal equipment resulted in them having to borrow spare sleds from other countries to compete. In a show of worldly brotherhood, other bobsledders were quickly willing to lend their guidance and support. The 1988 Jamaican team did not officially finish after losing control of the sled and crashing during one of their four runs. However, they showed significant improvement throughout the games and impressed observers with unusually fast and record-breaking starts. So inspiring was the story of four stereotypically defying Jamaicans that it resulted in the production of the major motion picture Cool Runnings.
Jamaica has been internationally represented in a wide array of sporting disciplines. Some of these sports include; rugby, squash, swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming, volleyball, badminton, ice and field hockey, beach football, netball, boxing, basketball, baseball, motor cycling, cycling, rally car racing, taekwondo, equestrian, lawn and table tennis. Having reviewed this list one will notice a few popular sports missing; which is another indication of our versatility as world-class performers on the international stage. Each one of these sporting programmes should be allocated adequate funding to develop at the grassroots level and sustain competitors while having rehabilitative capabilities for injured and recovering athletes. Apart from the Paralympics itself, Jamaica has been able to consecutively send constantly growing delegations of Paralympic athletes to several international championships. Not only have they sent teams of Paralympic athletes, but these athletes, like their more able-bodied counterparts have also proven their prowess, putting behind all doubt of our ability to ‘rise to the occasion’ and have cemented their own places in the Paralympic record books. Initially, Jamaican Olympic teams would consist of no more than 5 members, now that figure has increased to a minimum of 50 members (25 men & 25 women). Since the turn of the 21st century, Jamaica has become a household name in the world of sprinting. Coming from such a small team, it is now almost unimaginable to have an Olympic Games without the Jamaican sprint powerhouses, namely Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and living sprint legend, Usain Bolt.
Tessanne Chin has put in years of work. She has notched unmatched levels of performance experience with the likes of international reggae icons, Shaggy and Jimmy Cliff, to name a few. Regardless, it was not until she made a last-ditch effort (according to her) to audition for TheVoice™, an American high-calibre singing competition and was fittingly awarded the top spot, that we began to attribute the recognition her talent truly deserves. Why is it that we lazily await international recognition before accrediting our own? They never did love poor Marcus. So, in the famous words of the revered singing legend Burning Spear, Where is your love Jamaica?
Haile Selassie High School 2013
Gloomy clouds overshadow the future of Jamaica’s societal builders. It has come to my attention that educational facilities, often underappreciated by the average Jamaican high school student, may be seen as luxuries and long-lost treasures to the students of Haile Selassie High School, both past and present. Why is it, that a school recognized by the Ministry of Education is allowed to function in such a substandard learning environment? Mind you, in reference to the immediate surroundings, I chastise not the community, but the conditions under which the students valiantly accomplish academic and sporting heights. Haile Selassie High School has been crowned all-island badminton schools league champions for the past academic year. The school boasts three national representatives in Shakira Bailey, Shinell Hyatt and past-student, Shawn Forrester. This is mainly due to the persistence of national and school coach Lisco Jackson (PASO Level 3 Badminton Coach). Jackson, who has a personal relationship with most, if not all his athletes, takes an interest, not only in their athletic prowess, but also in their personal development. A prime example of what is necessary if we are to recover the lost youth in search of faith, independence and companionship. He, the Dean of Discipline, among other educators intimately connected to the school, voiced financial stagnation as their main deterrent.
Even with that prospect, students have acknowledged a lack thereof and decided against making it a hurdle. Rather, they have embarked upon a few beautification projects of their own, utilizing their own manpower. These enhancement projects include painting uplifting and inspiring images applicable by anyone who has had the honour of roaming the school’s walls. Said students resonate and beam brightly with potential, potential which has to escalate into much more. Isn’t being a Good Samaritan more crucial than having the capacity to be one? It is my astute belief that students of any kind and of every school should never be in need of methods, tools and practices essential for their characteristic, educational and personal manifestation into self-sufficient beings. In the case of Haile Selassie High School, the football pitch has been blanketed by sheets of dust and dirt which circumnavigates the compound. Pebbles and stones of slightly greater magnitudes decorate the field, all of which are sanctioned as hazardous and inadequate conditions under which to play football. Obviously, proud students of the school, competitors and officials would be discouraged from playing, competing and officiating under such circumstances; Thus, resulting in their absence from and lack of participation in any inter-secondary school competitions.
Now, having something so invaluable is one thing, but its preservation is another. Proper maintenance and upkeep of all educational facilities must be taught and enforced. This is the only way that the lifespan of netball courts, cricket pitches, athletic tracks etcetera can be lengthened. These mandatories should be able to serve generations of students before the call for renovation and refurbishment. I also believe that students must practice and retain information about planting, growing, reaping and preparing their own food. For that to be done, there must be allocated plots of land for agriculture, gardening and kitchens for creative cooking. There is no need to seek international assistance when our farmers, chefs and teachers are being sought out overseas. We are all capable of making the ‘dream’ into a reality; solely requiring unity and employing impartiality. A school or any other educational institution should never be shut down because it cannot support itself. Should a nation stop operating and governing the affairs of its people simply because it can’t afford it? The Ministry of Education ought to teach schools means of earning their own capital to fund their own spending. Each school should receive quarterly grants which contribute to that school’s enhancement. Schools educate our nation’s children, who are tomorrow’s nation. Without education there will be widespread mental segregation.
Haile Selassie High School must have a physics, biology and chemistry lab for the students to grasp concepts being taught with a more ‘hands on’ approach. Experiments of such nature guarantee the development of more specialized students who may move on to realize the pinnacle of expertise. Distilled water, free of harmful substances, must be flowing through the school’s pipes. The students must be able to walk through a confined area of higher learning with clean unpolluted air from which to breathe. To deny them these overlooked necessities is to deny them a future, and in doing so, also denying our nation’s future. What an immense shame it would be, for H.I.M Haile Selassie I who laid foundation for the erection of a free learning sanctuary in Kingston, Jamaica to behold its existence today.
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