May 2012 Volume 9

The KC Chapel Choir Tour of Washington, DC

Audley Davidson
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The Kingston College Chapel Choir tour of Washingston, DC from May 3rd to 6th 2012 was highly anticipated by all involved.  Upon arrival in Miami we were immediately met with the cool, cool weather — a welcome change from the typically warm day in Jamaica. The group continued on to Washington.

This tour provided the choristers a golden opportunity to meet old boys and talk to them about their time at KC, and it was a real pleasure for us all to do so and to feel the appreciation for our singing and to share in the high regard in which the college and choir are held.

All performances and engagements went well and the choir was well received at all venues.  However, it was particularly pleasing when the choir performed a rendition of Noel Dexter’s, “This is my land,” at the opening preview and cocktail reception.  One lady was so amazed with how beautiful the choir sounded that she called her daughter on her mobile phone so she could listen to the choir as we provided some pleasing entertainment for the assembled guests. 

At the next performance, the opening ceremony on Friday May 4th, which commenced at 10:00 am at the west front of the Washington Cathedral, the choir provided a five-minute prelude along with the acclaimed St Alban’s Boys Choir. We took turns in rendering the respective national anthems and an item. Next the Akwaabs Drummers  led by Philip Supersad and Hugh Douse  provided some fantastic Jamaican folk forms, which had us all pulsating to the rhythms and had the St Alban’s boys trying to do the Jamaican moves to the amusement of all present.  The choir was able to go about and mingle with the audience and received further plaudits.

At 1:30 pm the choir had the opportunity to perform in the great choir area, an area generally restricted but having had dialogue with Mr Benjamin Hutto, director of music at St Alban’s School, who contacted the cathedral music staff and the verger, we were given the green light. The 25-minute segment was seemingly spectacular!  The choir was now acclimatised and truly in fine voice. (See list of all items performed below).

After another few days packed with singing, the choir finally had a chance to explore all that Washington, DC had to offer in just a few hours. The old boys were even lucky enough to secure a tour of the many memorials and museums in DC to the delight of the choir.  Of note was the recently erected Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument, as well as iconic sights such as the White House and the Capitol, which offered the choir the chance to see Washington, DC from yet another perspective. Mr. Benjamin Hutto also gave the choir a tour of the National Cathedral choir school, St Albans.  
As director, the opportunity was extended for interaction with the Cathedral Girls’ Choir.  Accepting the invite, a warm-up session and briefing was held with their choristers.  The girls were advised on the college’s music programme and rehearsal regimen and they, in turn, shared their structure.  It was a fantastic cultural exchange.

Our final singing engagements provided a fine send-off.  With our last three performances in the Cathedral’s centre nave, another incredible and extraordinary place to sing, it provided the perfect setting for the final performances of the tour. The choir was superbly accompanied on a Steinway grand piano by Ann McNamee, whose accompaniment throughout the tour was fantastic and a greatly appreciated support to the choir’s singing.

Thanks must also be extended to Hugh Douse for his artistic involvement and commentary. The choir certainly gained the experience of Washington, DC as a fine city; a feeling confirmed by our short trip to DC and the entertainment provided by the KC Old Boys and the Jamaican Embassy.

After a farewell party hosted by the old boys, a wonderful and memorable tour came to an end.  The KCCC is eternally grateful to all those who helped fund, organise and support the tour in whatever way, in particular Noel Spencer, Christopher Hunt, Lloyd  Anderson, D.C.M ,Cherryl Gordon, Custos Rotulorum Marigold Harding, the Jamaican Embassy, and of course the Kingston College Old Boys Associations for their generosity. 

Without doubt, the tour helped strengthen the college’s ties with its alumni overseas, as well as spreading the good name and musical reputation of the Chapel choir even further afield.  Just as importantly, it provided current KC students with an unforgettable experience, something for which they offer their sincere gratitude.  It was a great learning experience and a superb opportunity to carry the Jamaican flag and culture in this 50th year anniversary of our Independence.

Washington, DC Concert List

Look at the world ---------------------------------------------------------John Rutter

Non Nobis Domine--------------------------------------------------------Roger Quilter

O Sing Joyfully------------------------------------------------------------Adrian Batten

Jubilance--------------------------------------------------------------------Linda Spevacek

Cantate Domino------------------------------------------------------------Giuseppe Pitoni

Now is the month of Maying -----------------------------------------------Thomas Morley

Alleluia----------------------------------------------------------------------Will James

Praise His Holy Name-----------------------------------------------------Keith Hampton (Movements)

Nobody knows the trouble I see –-----------Arr.-------------------------Mitchell B. Southall

Poor man Laz’rus----------------------------------------------------------Jester Hairston

Ride on king Jesus --------------------------Arr.-------------------------Donald Moore

His Name so sweet--------------------------------------------------------Hall Johnson

Caribbean Hallelujah------------------------------------------------------Beryl Donaldson (Movements)

Linstead Market--------Jamaican---Folksong;---Arr by-------------------Keith Rhodes

Jah is my keeper ---------Music by Peter Tosh, Arr by --------------------Audley Davidson

This is my land --------------------------------------------------------------Noel Dexter

Dis  lang time gyal---------Jamaican Folksong; ------Arr by----------------Dexter (Movements)

O Praise ye the lord--------------------------------------------------------Dexter (Movements)

Redemption Song ----Music by----Bob Marley----Arr by-----------------Davidson (Movements)

Jamaica Land of Beauty---------------------------------------------------Lloyd Hall

Many Rivers to cross------------------------------------------------------Jimmy Cilff


Thursday May 3 -Black tie reception (Center Aisle )  15-30min
Nobis Domine---------------------------------------------------------------------Rodger Quilter*
This is my land--------------------------------------------------------------------Noel Dexter

Friday  May 4- Opening Ceremony
Jamaica National Anthem and (1) other item

Mid-day Performance 15-30 min. 1:30pm
Cantate Domino-----------------------------------------------Giuseppe. Pitoni
Sing to the Lord--------( Franz Schubert) Arr. -----------Christopher Tambling
Caribbean Hallelujah-----------------------------------------Beryl Donaldson
Ride on king Jesus --------------------------Arr.-----------------Donald Moore
Jubilance-------------------------------------------------------Linda Spevacek

Redemption Song ---Music by Bob Marley--Arr. ------Audley Davidson
Linstead Market (Jamaican Folksong)-----Arr.----------Keith Rhodes
Dis  lang time gyal (Jamaican Folksong; )----Arr. ------Dexter
Jah is my keeper ---music by. Peter Tosh------Arr.------Davidson               

Afternoon Performance 3:00pm-
Look at the world --------------------------------------------John Rutter
O Praise ye the lord-------------------------------------------Noel Dexter
Poor man Laz’rus---------------------------------------------Jester Hairston
Nobody knows the trouble I see –--------------------------Southall
Jubilance--------------------------------------------------------Linda Spevacek

Redemption Song ---Music by Bob Marley--Arr.--------Audley Davidson
Many Rivers to cross----------------------------------------------Jimmy Cilff
Linstead Market   (Jamaican Folksong)-----Arr.-----------Keith Rhodes
Dis  lang time gyal  (Jamaican Folksong) ---Arr-----------Dexter
Jah is my keeper ---music by. Peter Tosh------Arr.--------Davidson    

Afternoon Performance @ 4:15pm - 15 minutes 

Saturday, May  5-------Depart Hotel for WNC
Performance  @ 10:00am 15-30 minutes
Look at the world -----------------------------------------------John Rutter
Cantate Domino-------------------------------------------------Giuseppe Pitoni
Caribbean Hallelujah-------------------------------------------Beryl Donaldson
Redemption Song ---Music by Bob Marley—Arr. --------Audley Davidson
Many Rivers to cross------------------------------------------------Jimmy Cilff
Linstead Market   (Jamaican Folksong)-----Arr.------------Keith Rhodes
Dis  lang time gyal  (Jamaican Folksong) ---Arr.-----------Dexter*

Performance  @ 1:30pm  15-30 minutes- Venue - (Cathedral Nave)
 Performance @ 3:00pm 15minutes- Venue - (Cathedral Nave)
Jamaica Land of beauty-------------------------------------Lloyd Hall
Look at the world -------------------------------------------John Rutter*
Non Nobis Domine------------------------------------------Roger Quilter*
O Praise ye the lord------------------------------------------Noel Dexter*
Poor man Laz’rus---------------------------------------------Jester Hairston *
Nobody knows the trouble I see –--------------------------Southall *
Jubilance-------------------------------------------------------Linda Spevacek
Redemption Song ---Music by Bob Marley--Arr.-------Audley Davidson
Many Rivers to cross---------------------------------------------Jimmy Cilff
Linstead Market (Jamaican Folksong)-----Arr.-----------Keith Rhodes*
Dis  lang time gyal  (Jamaican Folksong)—Arr.----------Dexter*
Jah is my keeper ---music by Peter Tosh------Arr.--------Davidson*                


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