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Jul 21, 2016

Bahamian Youth Choir Tours Belize with Carnival Cruise Lines

Holly Edgell

The Bahamian National Youth Choir annually partners with the Carnival Cruise Line for a tour of the region; from the Bahamas the group would board a ship and travel to the Cayman Island, Honduras and Cozumel. For the first time, the group included Belize in its tour and put off a one-hour musical showcase on Wednesday, featuring its singers and band. Folkloric songs, a disco medley, as well as spiritual and Caribbean-rooted music were all on display by the Bahamian Youth Choir ensemble.

 

Holly Edgell, Communication & Marketing Officer, NICH

“It was something to see. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I thought it would be some folkloric, something native to the Bahamas and we did get that, but they started off very solemn with their own national anthem and you’ll see in the video they were all dressed in their proper suits. Then they did a quick change and they came out in disco mode. They did an amazing medley of Earth, Wind and Fire. The kids in the audience saw afros, they saw all kinds of boots and miniskirts. It was amazing and they really took—the people of my generation—this is our sweet spot. And they sing and they dance at the same time which is incredible. Oone of the people they came with, their staff, did a dramatic reading of a Bahamian story. We came back and we had more of the local flavor, Caribbean flavor with beautiful costumes, dancing. There was a lot of humor; I think you would see that they had these call and response types of songs and so the audience which was a lot of teens and kids, loved it and they went nuts. The boys came out and did their own things without the young ladies and the girls in the audience were very appreciative of that. It was colorful, it was energetic, it was passionate. They have a band that comes with them so they had a horn section; they had piano, they had guitar and they just really blew the roof off of the place. I think it is a really interesting lesson in real life because here we are on the Central American mainland with such strong ties to the Caribbean. The Bahamas is really their culture has similarities with ours, but some differences. So I think it was neat for the kids and the audience and the grownups to see some of the echoes of our culture in their culture. There were a couple of songs that were very similar to what we do. Certainly the costumes, the makeup of the music and the beats, very similar; but then they also sang some spirituals that are traced to the American south and because Bahamas is much closer to the  United States, they do have a little more of that tie. So you see that and then of course the disco medley was just everybody.”

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