Guyana Festival of Musical Arts ends on high note

The Guyana Festival of Musical Arts ended on a high note on Saturday last with Orlando Primo being named the overall festival champion.

West Ruimveldt Nursery was awarded the best performance in the children’s categories while West Ruimveldt Primary School won the Choral Speaking- Primary Schools category and Marian Academy Junior Choir won the Primary School Choirs trophy.

Michael Smith Jr (Steel Pan Solo), Keiann Simon and Jamaal Skeete (Pianoforte Duet under 15 years), Precious Jewels Nursery School (Action Song Nursery School) and Winfer Gardens Primary School (Folk Song Primary School) were also awarded in the children’s categories.

Winners of Championship trophies in the adult classes were Cecil Noble (Vocal Solos), Abedimi Seaforth and Ernesta Nelson (Vocal Duet Ladies Voices), Michael Smith Sr (Steel Pan Solo), the Georgetown Chamber Chorus (Mixed Voice Choirs), Philip Adams (Karaoke Men) and Orlando Primo (Ethnic Drumming).
All of the trophies for the festival championship were donated by the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.

The festival, which started last Tuesday and ended on Saturday, saw some 300 entrants and several certificates being awarded as well. Last Thursday, Nicholas Elliot walked away with first prize in the Dramatic Poetry, 13 and under 15 years of age category leaving Jameel Kyrenhoff and Chrison Jack at second and third position. “My Moods” by George Bacchus was performed.

In the Pianoforte Solo, Boy or Girl under 15 years of age segment, “Top Cat” was the choice piece and Jamal Skeete aced it, securing first position. Keiann Simon and Leigh Riane Amsterdam came second and third respectively. Lakesie Vieira won the first place in the Girl’s Vocal Solo under 12 years of age, where “Blue Saki” by Jodina was sang. Coming in at second was Jasmine Crosse and third, Hadiya Jagroop.
In this same category, 12-15 years of age, “Birds in the Night” by Arthur Sullivan was performed, with Ann Marie Gomes placing first and Chelsie France, third. No second place was awarded.

Abidemi Seaforth and Ernesta Nelson receiving their award for winning in the ladies duet category from Minister of Culture Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday evening. They also won the Championship trophy on Saturday evening.

Jamila Cummings was the only person awarded in the Recorder Solo, boy or girl under 12 years of age segment. She won second place with her performance “Adagio” by WA Mozart.

Stephen Lewis placed first and Jason Koylass second in their performance of “L’Une ou L’Autre” by Edgar Nibul in the Pianoforte Solo, Boy or girl under 12 years of age category.

Hilary Bose won first place for her rendition of “Love Has Eyes” by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop in the Girl’s Vocal Solo, 15-20 years of age category. Second place was awarded to Ernesta Nelson leaving third position to Kimberly Samuels.

In the verse speaking category, 9-11 years of age, “The Mouse that Gnawed the Oak Tree Down” by Vachel Lindsay was selected. Vani Singh took first place followed by Ariel Dasrath and Shakira Hamilton, respectively.

When the primary schools took to the stage in the action song category, they performed pieces of their choice. First place was awarded to the Winfer Gardens Song Group, second place to Golden Grove Primary School and third to Smith Memorial Primary School. Winfer Gardens Group also secured third position in the Choral Speaking Primary Schools segment, where “I Am Worthy” was performed. West Ruimveldt Primary School won this segment and second placed was awarded to the Marian Academy Junior Choral.

During the night’s proceedings, “Solveig’s Song” by Edvard Greig was done in the Soprano Solo segment. Yonette Greaves placed first, followed by Karen Yaw, second and Althea Bristol in third.

No awards were bestowed in the Tenor Solo category where “If With All Your Hearts” (Elijah) by Mendelssohn was performed. However, honourable mention was made of Randy Griffith.

Randolph Spence was awarded the first place in the Baritone Solo segment where “Mouth So Charmful” (Arietta) by Antoine Lotti was performed. Dwayne Hackett placed second in this category.

The Marian Academy Secondary Choir performing at the Guyana Musical Arts Festival.

In the Bass Solo, Cecil Noble won the first place after performing “Money O” by Michael Head. No other awards were given in this segment.
Again, only one award was given – to the Georgetown Chamber Chorus – which performed “The Impossible Dream” and “He Ain’t Heavy” in the Mixed Voice Choirs category.

In the Gospel/Modern/Spiritual Solo category, participants were given the opportunity to select a song of their choice and had a time limit of 6 minutes. No first place position was awarded; however, Samuel Heywood was awarded second place and Kevorn Fraser third.

Mark Cyrus came second in the Ethnic Drumming individual category, while there was a tie between Aburi Patterson and Lannox Wayne for third place. Honourable Mention was made of Akomo Patterson.

During Friday’s afternoon affair, the Buxton Fusion Folk group participated in the Folk Song, Secondary school category, securing second position after performing a song of their choice. There was no award for first place.

In the verse speaking, 11 and under 13 years of age category, “The Tyger” by William Blake was selected with Abhimanyo Dev taking first place and Sarah-Ann Davin-Longe second.

Marian Academy Junior Choir earned first place in the Primary School Choirs, under 12 years of age category, while Winfer Gardens School Choir 2 secured second position and Winfer Gardens Choir 1 secured third place. “Mr Tom Narrow” by WH Parry was performed in this

The Marigold Junior Choir performing at the Guyana Musical Arts Festival.


In the verse speaking, 15 and under 18 years of age segment, an excerpt from “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare was performed with Alvin Ramnarine placing first.
Marian Academy Choir again scored a title in the Secondary School Choirs, 12 years and over category, placing third in this category. The Central High School Choir was given an Honourable Mention. “To Music” by Betty Bertaux and “Poet’s Prayer” by Valerie Rodway were performed.

Jamaal Skeete and Stephen Lewis were the only ones awarded and no other persons secured positions in the Pianoforte Duet, Boy or Girl under 12 years of age category. This duo secured third position after they performed “A Little Night Music by WA Mozart.

In the Junior Church Choirs, under 18 years of age category, “The Lord is My Light” by Michael Bradford was performed and the Marigold Choir was awarded the first place. This was the only group awarded in this category.

In addition, in the Folk Song, primary school category, participants performed a song of their choice. The Winfer Gardens Song group placed first, followed by the Golden Grove Primary Folk Group. Honourable mention was made of Smith Memorial Primary School.

“Ol’ Higue” by George Bacchus was selected in the Dramatic Poetry 15 and under 18 years of age segment where Jenelle Pierre brought first followed by Felecia Gouveia in second and Vivekanand Rambarran, third.

Later on in the evening Kathleen Henriquo earned herself the first place position in the verse speaking segment where “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wordsworth or “Prayer before Birth” by Louis Macneice was performed. Emma Bovell came in second and Althea Bristol third.

In the Pianoforte Solo category, “Fantasia on Three Guyanese Songs” by Hugh Sam was performed and Justin Thompson, the only person awarded, placed first. St Paul Preston Rodney and Kevin Arthur both placed second in the Instrumental Solo while Mark Dover received an honourable mention.

“My Guyana” by FP Loncke was performed in the recorder solo category in which Raeanne Clarke placed first. Jared Gilbert placed second in the Dramatic Poetry segment where an excerpt from “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare was performed.

Mark Cyrus placed first in the Folk Song category after he performed a song of his choice. No first place was awarded in the Karaoke segment when the ladies took to the stage and performed songs of their choice at a time limit of four minutes. The second place finisher was Kimberly Samuels while Natoya Belle came in third. In this men’s category Phillip Adams scored first place while Rudolph Marshall and Kevorn Fraser came in at second and third, respectively.

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