Church Choir among Festival Song Top Ten Finalists

Jamaica Festival Song Finalists celebrate with Minister Grange and State Minister Terrelonge at the semi-finals on Saturday, April 14, 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Finalists celebrate with Minister Grange and State Minister Terrelonge at the semi-finals on Saturday, April 14, 2018

The 2018 edition of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition continues to be one for the history books, from the record number of entries received to a 63-member church choir being named among the finalists. The choir along with the other nine finalists were selected at the competition’s semi-final concert, supported by a full house at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and with over 20,000 online viewers on Saturday, April 14.

Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC,) an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the concert saw the 30 semi-finalists go head to head for one of the coveted top ten spots as they tried to outperform each other in front of a global audience that included viewers from Mexico, USA, Canada and Australia. The choir makes history as the largest group to enter and make it into the final round of the competition.

The finalists are: Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God with its song Strong Jamaican, written by Patrick Kitson; Oneil Scott with Jamaica A Wi Home; Karel Wisdom with Hands on your Heart, written by Wisdom, M. Bennett and G Wright;  Radcliffe Palmer with The Type of Jamaica, Victor Richards with Jamaica Wi Rich, Roger Mendez with I Love Jamaica, written by Sheea-Ann Hewan; Tanice Morrison with Jamaica You Nice Enuh; Everton Pessoa with Jamaica’s Formula; Dennis McKay with Wi Big All Around and Courick Clarke  with Let’s Do It Jamaica

“For over 50 years, this Competition has enriched our community of local talent with meaningful exposure, on a local and even international stage. We have made every effort to make this year’s competition bigger and better than before. This year we have seen a record number of more than 200 entries. That tells me that Festival Song is alive and well. And we have pulled out all the stops to ensure that we have a record prize package of ten million dollars so I am sure that success in this competition will be a life changing experience for the winners.” Said Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange.

Grange further stated that following on their selection, the top ten finalists will now participate in a series of performances across all 14 parishes. This Road Tour will lead up to the Competition’s Grand Final in July, at which time the ultimate song, the one that will form the soundtrack for Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of Independence, will be selected.

 

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Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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