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May 31, 2018

The Very Best of High Schools’ Festival of the Arts

After almost a week of performances in dance, song and drama, the National Festival of Arts today featured the high school competition. Fifteen presentations from schools across the country took to the stage inside the Bliss auditorium for a grueling fight in the creative arts. A powerful monologue on bullying and musical ensembles as well as duets and pantomimes captured the attention of the audience and the judges, who will make the tough decision of deciding the winners of the high school edition of the festival. News Five’s Duane Moody and cameraman Darrel Moguel put together this reports.

 

Kim Vasquez

Kim Vasquez, Youth Development Officer, ICA

“The stakes are so high this morning; it’s been exciting. We are about quarter way through the programme and I can tell you it is going to be tough for the judges this morning. We have six districts participating this year; we have fifteen items on the programme; we have just about every discipline represented. We’ve seen storytelling, monologues, vocal solos, music ensembles, there’s the ACC choir here. I know Wesley has a musical ensemble in here as well so it is a well rounded exciting competition this morning. We’ve raised the stakes at the secondary level. Again this is part of our vision for the National Festival of Arts. We believe that when they’ve reached this stage, we hope that they have grown in the arts from preschool coming upwards and now we want to give them that extra push, so we’ve made it into a competition.”

 

Duane Moody

“The different schools participating, the students…it doesn’t matter if they come as groups or individual performances?”

 

Kim Vasquez

“It does not matter at all. We have individual students representing their schools, we have very large groups. For example, ACC is a choir of thirty-four students. I can guarantee you that some of these youths you are seeing here today at the secondary level, you give them another few more years and you will see them in our artist community. We are also recognizing this morning as well some of the top performers in the visual arts. We have them on display here in the lobby as well. They will also be recognized as well. So even though it is the performing arts onstage, we are also making sure we include the visual arts as well. They are looking for the most outstanding performances this morning. The top three will walk away with cash prizes from the National Institute of Culture and History as well as their certificates of awards and we are looking at the most outstanding.”

 

Winning first place was Stann Creek Ecumenical High School, Sadie Vernon High School came second and Wesley College got third place. The National Festival of Arts concludes on Saturday with a grand finale concert at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. It will feature choral performances, music ensembles and a special presentation by the National Youth Orchestra. The concert is a fundraiser for summer creative arts programmes.  Entrance fee is ten dollars for adults and three dollars for students.

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