Caribbean musical groups welcomed in San Ignacio Print
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Thursday, 27 July 2017 00:00

The University of the West Indies Arts Chorale, in a perfect synchrony with the UWI steel, has given a remarkable performance on Sunday evening at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. Originating from the UWI Saint Augustine Campus, the unique musical ensemble delivered songs such as “Freedom is Coming”, “Deliver Daniel” and the Spanish delight “Besame Mucho” to the much enjoyment by attentive listeners.

In his opening address on Sunday, Deputy Mayor of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena George Boiton welcomed the organizers and members of the delegation from Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of Mayor Earl Trapp Junior.

The University of Belize and the Anglican Diocese had made initial contact with the Department of Creative and Festival Arts of the University of West Indies at St. Augustine led by Jessel Murray, Music Director and Conductor and encouraged him to perform in Belize.

In attendance on Sunday at the Cayo Welcome Center was Professor Clement Sankat, President of the University of Belize, who in an exclusive interview with the Guardian shared his hopes for Belizeans.

“One of my hopes is that the presence or the coming of this UWI St. Augustine Department of creative arts steel pan side and the choral would inspire Belizeans and University of Belize to also try to put in place a program in the creative and festival arts and especially a program in music so that young Belizeans can also aspire to these heights.”

He continued, “The arts is very important for all citizens, all countries, all institutions and there is the fine arts, there is music, there  is drama, there is dance; all of these will give Belizeans an opportunity not only to become knowledgeable and to express themselves, but to become professionals in their own right, who can become entrepreneurs and who could support a Country with a very good track record in tourism that is growing and a service sector that is growing and these young people and professionals can really help to push Belize’s tourism and services sector to a really tremendous new height.”

The UWI musical group is just a sample of what can come from Trinidad and Tobago, known as the land of steel and calypso. The steel band itself was created in Trinidad more than a hundred years ago.

What was special about the free performance on Sunday was that Cayo residents were able to hear the combination of steel as well as the chorus.

“You do not often get this combination of steel pan and a choir and this exhibition here this evening is unique in the world,” says President Clement Sankat.