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Dec 10, 1998

National Youth Choir prepares for concert

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Next week Sunday the National Youth Choir presents, “Around the World at Christmas Time.” News Five attended one of the choir’s rehearsals this week. I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as we were.

They are members of Belize’s first National Youth Choir. The boys and girls who come from Belmopan, Ladyville and the city were chosen after taking part in a series of music camps and trials in the summer of 1998. Mindy Mansfield is the Vocal and Choral Director of the Belize Arts Council.

Mindy Mansfield, Vocal/Choral Director, Arts Council

“It goes way back to this past summer when we had the music camp with the children. At the very end of the camp, we held a trial for the children and approximately fifteen made it from the camp. From here we had other trials in August and we had approximately thirty-five to start, to begin with. We started practicing everyday. Since then, we have thirty that have stayed with us constantly. And that’s how we got started.”

These days, the young singers have been busy preparing for their first show, “Around the World at Christmas Time”.

Bea Jay Armstrong, Member, National Youth Choir

“Every Wednesday we go over the songs that we are doing on the cassette. We are supposed to learn about ten of them but I think we have only learnt six or eight, but we are supposed to learn them. And every Wednesday we learn two or more and we have theory. We do theory. We do breathing exercises and Miss Mindy asks us questions and things about what we are going to do on the twentieth.”

Mindy Mansfield

“They have been practicing really hard and we have been doing a lot of memorizing of words, voice training, theory lessons along with all the other learning of the songs.”

The show, which will feature both popular and traditional Christmas songs, will also include a special presentation.

Q: “Jazel, a part of the show’s presentation will include a segment where you boys and girls will be singing or will be talking about how countries around the world celebrate their Christmas. What country will you be talking about?”

Jazel Pascascio, Member, National Youth Choir

“I will be talking about Denmark and how the people celebrate their Christmas in Denmark.”

Jackie Dunsworth, Member, National Youth Choir

“We’ll be singing all the songs that we have been learning.”

Q: “Which one is your favorite?”

Jackie Dunsworth

“Oh Christmas Tree.”


“Sing a little bit for me.”

Jackie Dunsworth

“Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree, of all the trees most lovely.”

Mindy Mansfield

“They are great; they are wonderful. They are extremely attentive; they are such good learners. They pay attention; they catch on quick, quicker than how I thought I would get on with them. We are planning on staying together and hopefully their musical ideas and their music theory will become much more advanced within the next year.”

Mansfield says following the Christmas show, the children will have some time to rest before they start rehearsing for their next musical presentation, “An Elephant’s Child,” scheduled for April of 1999.

“Around the World at Christmas Time,” begins at seven p.m. on Sunday, December twentieth at the Bliss. Tickets are available from choir members or the Belize Arts Council. The Belize National Youth Band will also present its concert tomorrow night on Albert Street beginning at eight p.m.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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