Bahamas Children's Choir scores bronze level in Chinese competition
As the Bahamas National Children's Choir, its directors, parents and chaperones leave Beijing, China, to arrive back in The Bahamas after midnight on Monday, July 23, 2012, they carry back memories of a different culture and interactions with choirs from around the world. They are also returning with the Bronze Level from the 11th China International Chorus Festival and International Federation of Choral Music World Choral Summit.
This was the first time the choir took part in the Festival and it was the only choir from the Caribbean region and the only choir of colour out of the 166 choirs and nearly 10,000 in attendance. The Bahamas National Children's Choir also beat out 67 of the 70 choirs in "Children Category A" to attain this award.
"Our children were awesome," said co-founder and co-director of the Children's Choir Patricia Bazard. "They always rise to the occasion and we are just so proud that The Bahamas is always on the map."
"It is just amazing that The Bahamas that little 'drop' in the middle of the ocean could come to an international festival of this size and compete so well among choirs that practice every day and go to choir schools," added co-founder and co-director Audrey Dean-Wright. "Our children only have the chance to practice one and a half hours per week and to be able to get a medal among the best of the best is just amazing."
"Coming from so far and competing against so many different choirs, I am very excited and overwhelmed," Assistant Director Alfred Dean said. "Our children were exposed to such a high level of competition and it shows that The Bahamas is always still in the running."
Dean-Wright said that although there are different age groups and categories at the Festival, they are all adjudicated on the same level and with the same rules.
"They do not make allowances because you are children," Mrs. Dean-Wright said. "They expect the same level of expertise from everyone."
"It must have been very difficult for the judges because, overall, the choirs were all very good," Mrs. Dean-Wright said. "I think they had to make their decisions on just certain technical points.
"For example, with our presentation of three songs, we had different genres, different eras of music and we had a song in Latin and ended with a Negro Spiritual. You did not see that kind of diversity across the board."
"This is just the tip," Dean Wright said. "We have so much more in us. We are going to continue to bring it out."
Dean-Wright pointed out that if the choir had practice space in The Bahamas they could carry their level even higher. Mrs. Bazard added that the children are looking forward to any kind of national recognition when they get back in The Bahamas, as they rarely receive any accolades when they compete well. The most recent recognition coming in April 2010, when the Wyndham Nassau Resorts and Crystal Palace Casino, made them headliners in a tribute concert at the resort, after their Bronze Level win in Prague, the Czech Republic, that year.
"The children just want to feel appreciated and that somebody cares about what they did internationally," Mrs. Bazard said.
Dean-Wright also added a personal promise: "I am committed to the children of The Bahamas to put my efforts into making our children the best they could be, anywhere in the world."
"When we represent, we always represent well," Bazard added.
© 2012 The Freeport News