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19th of July 2018

Entertainment



Ja Youth Chorale hosts concert on Thursday

Ja Youth Chorale hosts concert on Thursday

By Sade GardnerObserver writergardners@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 02, 2018

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As part of its mission to raise funds for the World Choir Games in Tshwane, South Africa, the Jamaica Youth Chorale will on Thursday stage 'Journey: The Encore Edition', at The University of the West Indies' Mona Chapel.

Gregory Simms, principal and musical director of the group, said they are close to the $9 million target announced at their annual spring concert in March.

“I'd rather not discuss figures, but I can say we almost reach. I'm very thankful for contributions from the CHASE Fund, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and anonymous donors as well,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Established in 2010, the World Choir Games is held in two parts, the first from July 4–14. Simms said his group of 19 members (cut from 30 because of cost) leaves on July 8 to compete in the second half.

“We're calling ourselves Team Tallawah, a likkle choir from Jamaica going against huge choirs of 50 and more. But we are not daunted by that, we are about quality not quantity,” he said.

“We're excited and as ready as we can be. The repertoire we have is very difficult, but we place high standards for ourselves. We'll also be paying tribute to Dr Andrew Marshall and Noel Dexter and some other composers,” he continued.

Simms started the nine-year-old group at age 22. He highlighted the importance of competing in events like the World Choir Games.

“When I was growing up, I didn't run up and down and do sports; piano was my thing. With a competition like this, young people in the arts will get to showcase their talent on an international stage. It also does a lot for the creative industries and for the brand Jamaica, we are so much more than 'sun, sea and sand'. Thousands of persons will be in South Africa representing their country and art, so it's absolutely important that Jamaica represent too,” said Simms.

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