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MacFarlane is spectacular
A spectacular spectacle best describes Brian MacFarlane’s Christmas production, Christmas Joy – the Gift of the Drum. The concert which premiered on November 26 was a mixture of old and new, nostalgia and excitement, with dramatic lighting and pageantry in the best tradition of the famed mas-man.
MacFarlane, who was not able to attend the concert due to ill-health, sent greetings to the attendees and said the event is “proof of what we can do if we’re prepared to work hard.” He thanked the cast and directors Dr Charles Brunner, Richard Anthony Pierre and Dr Helmer Hilwig for their hard work and dedication.
The concert featured performances by Alethea Beharry, Wendell Constantine, Marlon de Bique, Anne Fridal, Lennox Gray, Kelwyn Hutcheon, Christian Mendez, Stephanie Nahous, Rosezanna Winchester, Raquel Winchester, Wendy Sheppard, Marvin Smith, Ancil Valley, a children’s choir, members of the Cascade Festival Ballet and Twin Inc.
The audience was treated to presentations of When A Child Is Born, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, I Wonder As I Wander, All I Want For Christmas, I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas, Driving Home For Christmas, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Deck The Halls, Kiss Me For Christmas, Oh How I Wish I Were A Child Again, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Laughing Children, Grownup Christmas Wish, Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/O Tidings Of Comfort And Joy, O Holy Night and I Believe/Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Of special note were the performances of Around My Christmas Tree (Laughing Children) by Lennox Gray and Kiss Me For Christmas and Oh How I Wish I Were A Child Again by Kelwyn Hutcheon, both of whom received roars of applause when they entered the stage. And, special mention must go to young Christian Mendez whose powerful voice wowed all those present.
The all-male quartet of Marvin Smith, Marlon de Bique, Wendell Constantine and Ancil Valley singing O Holy Night was breathtaking. The performance of I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas by Anne Fridal, Wendell Constantine and Ancil Valley with the choristers dressed as snowflakes, ballerinas who formed a moving flower and falling snowflakes, created a visually stunning scene.
Alethea Beharry, Stephanie Nahous, Wendy Sheppard, Raquel Winchester and the full choir, delivered a powerful pore-raising rendition of arrangements of Ave Maria that brought the audience to tears. The finale of a medley of I Believe/Somewhere Over The Rainbow featuring all performers was visually stunning and breathtakingly beautiful.
Part proceeds of the opening night went to the Children’s Ark’s project to relocate and reconstruct the Surgical Ward, including the operating theatre and dental suite, of the Princess Elizabeth Home for Handicapped Children which will cost approximately $1.6 million.
Children’s Ark Chairman Simone de la Bastide said they recently received a donation of $750,000 from PCS Nitrogen towards the project.
Christmas Joy - The Gift of the Drum continues at Queen’s Hall until December 3 at Queen’s Hall. For tickets call Queen’s Hall Box Office (624-1284, ext: 242; 772-3533 and 491-3345).
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