Over 25 acts to face the judges

todayNovember 8, 2023 85


As the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) moves into high gear, the Music Finals is shaping up to be a spectacle.

The quality of performers is high, their excitement is infectious and all systems are ready for when they take the stage at the Frank Collymore Hall on Sunday at 7 p.m. This is from the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Cultural Officer for Music Education, Kevin Moore, who expressed his pleasure about the standard of talent, the level of interest among young people and the increase in originality.

NCF Music Officer Kevin Moore

“We have a lot of young persons who are coming forward who we didn’t know about before that have a high standard of performance, the school choirs, the school bands – everyone is performing at a high level. . . . We are seeing original music come through and the quality of the original music is very good.

“Some of it is R&B, some of it is calypso/soca fusions with R&B some form of Jamaican reggae or dub what have you. So, there are some interesting new presentations and there are all of high quality,” Moore emphasised.

This year’s finalists range across a plethora of genres including: traditional/folk, contemporary/popular, classical, experimental/fusion, jazz and religious.

The finalists in the adult category are: Arlington Daniel, Kibibi Greenidge, Athalia Crump, ZZ Cumberbatch, Johnathan Jordan, MLVP Elite Vox and Jaleesa Greaves. While the finalists in the Junior category are: The Cyptones 70 VoicesSt. Cyprian’s Boys Band, Shontae Alleyne-Clarke, Christ Church Foundation Steel Orchestra, Nikhyl BurnettColeridge & Parry School Choir, Roneisha Alleyne, Skyy Dowridge, Christ The King Boomwhackers, The Ellerslie ChoirHaynesville Youth Club and the St. Bartholomew Primary School Choir.

Frederick Smith Secondary Steel Orchestra performing at NIFCA Music 2019.

Coleridge & Parry choir at the 2019 Music Finals.

The NCF has put many generous prizes and awards up for grabs in both the non-professional adult and junior categories. These are: The Prime Minister’s Scholarship; The James Millington Award of Excellence, The Prime Minister’s Award for the Best Original NIFCA Music Entry, The Founder’s Trophy, the Incentive Award for Outstanding Participation by an Artiste(s) with Disabilities; The Cynthia Wilson NIFCA Producer’s Prize; and The Jackie Opel Award will be awarded for the best locally written, arranged and performed musical selection (any genre).

New awards are: The Emile Straker Award for the best locally written, arranged and performed folk selection; The Business Entrepreneur Prize; the 50th Anniversary of NIFCA Award for the Most Outstanding Presentation in the NIFCA Music 2023 and the Barbados Community College Scholarships in which two scholarships will be offered towards training in the Associate Degree programme in Music to a value of $3 000 each.

Sunday’s Music Finals comes on the heel of a successful season in music which was kicked off by the introduction and rave reviews of the NIFCA Arrangers and Music Performers challenges and the successful launch of the NIFCA Music in the Square: Icon Nights that are staged at Golden Square Freedom Park in The City at 6 p.m. Icon Night began with A Tribute to James Millington on November 3rd; continues this coming Friday with A Tribute to Jackie Opel and culminates with A Tribute to Sir Emile Straker on November 17th.

Moore expressed his satisfaction about the number of entrants and performers this season coupled with the virtuosity of submissions to which he credited NIFCA’s contribution to Barbados’ musical landscape over the past half-century.

He added: “The development of NIFCA over the last 50 years is the reason that we are seeing the high quality of entrants and the quality of performances today. Because persons would have invested time over the years entering NIFCA, they probably would have gotten a bronze or not placed, then come back and gotten a higher award. It’s not really about the award it’s about the development, persons are using the competition and the NIFCA showcases to hone their talent and better their craft.” 

NIFCA is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023 under the theme “50 Years of Excellence Remembered”. Tickets for the Finals are $30 adults and $15 children age 5 – 12. (PR)

Written by: Info NCF

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