Feast of Lights: A Night of Musical Splendour in Mandeville
Members of the New England Youth Ensemble NCU Steel Band
Music enthusiasts of all ages turned out in large numbers at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Gymnatorium on December 4, 2010 to experience an array of youthful musical talents dubbed “Feast of Lights.”
The featured performers were the NCU Concert Choir in collaboration with the New England Youth Ensemble from the United States. Other featured groups were the West Indies College Preparatory School Choir, the Victor Dixon High School Choir, the NCU Inspirational Choir, the NCU Steel Band, Kingdom Praise and the Shahayé Choir.
The event started with the West Indies College Preparatory School performing the “All Hail, King Jesus” Medley and ended with “Handel’s Hallelujah” performed by the NCU and New England Youth Ensemble combined choir.
Classical and folk renditions
The annual Christmas concert exposed the audience to a variety of Christmas compositions including excerpts from “Handel’s Messiah”. The musical feast not only exposed the audience to the classics from the choirs and orchestra, but also gave them a taste of Folk Tradition and Christmas carols performed by the NCU Steel Band. The rhythm that oozed from the steel band saw members of the audience rocking from left to right as they tapped their feet.
Another highlight of the event was the performance by the New England Youth Ensemble and its featured violinist Oksana Skrypkar who played the “Sonata for Strings” which received a standing ovation by the audience.
Entertaining and educational
Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, the New England Youth Ensemble’s Director, took the opportunity to share a little musical knowledge on the selected pieces as they were performed.
The musical treat, delivered against a backdrop of vibrant red, green and glittering gold lights, added to the festive air and was seen by many as a “good note” on which to start the Christmas season.
“Feast of Lights” is an annual event organized by the Department of Music at NCU and is staged during the month of December. The theme of lights is inspired by and symbolic of “Hanukkah”, the Jewish Festival of Dedication, and according to the Director of Feast of Lights, Dr. Eurydice Osterman, “it is a Christmas gift to the Community.”