An Amazing Journey indeed

Observer writer

Thursday, July 26, 2018

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AN Amazing Journey: The Concert, held at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts on the grounds of The University of the West Indies' Mona in Kingston, lived up to its billing.

Hosted by the Church of Ascension in Kingston on Sunday, the two performances played to a large and appreciative audience.

“The first show at 3:30 pm was virtually a full house and the 7:00 pm was filled as well,” Lynden Nugent, chairman of the event's organising committee, told the Jamaica Observer.

An Amazing Journey: The Concert featured an extensive line-up of performances across a wide variety of entertainment styles. From solo to ensemble pieces, to expressive dance numbers, there was plenty for the packed house to enjoy.

According to Nugent, the variety was the main aim of the Church of Ascension who moved their concert offerings to the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts.

“We wanted to expand beyond just music and the new venue allows more of the creative arts, like the dancing. We also wanted to appeal past our own congregation to regular theatre goers,” he said.

From his perspective, the elements of better venue and wider variety led to several signature moments such as the opening and closing numbers, which saw a combination of the groups providing the action and sound the audience loved. In the same discussion was the performance of Beethoven's Fifth by the Ascension Steel Orchestra which saw MC Fae Ellington giving nothing but praise. Laurice Barnaby got the nod as a memorable moment when she engaged the audience fully during her rendition of the Pink Panther Theme on her flute.

At the end of the evening, Nugent said the response was beyond expectations and there have already been calls to make An Amazing Journey: The Concert an annual event.

“An Amazing Journey: The Concert was an experiment. And while it was taxing to coordinate, we now have a template so having it every two years is currently under consideration, but we have a heavy lobby for annually,” he explained.

Nugent is confident that they've learned enough from this first staging to make it an even bigger success. He hopes to hold it at a different date to avoid the constraints of competing events and exam time for the students in the various bands.

“An Amazing Journey: The Concert was between two events, Fun in the Son and Reggae Sumfest. For the students, a better date would allow them more rehearsal time and not having to worry about their exams,” he said.

Proceeds from the concert will go towards expanding The Church of Ascension's music ministry.

“We also do community outreach. We have a homework group and a soup kitchen which comes out of our coffers. So the money will go towards that as well,” he added.

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