“US Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra Sets the Pace with Classical Music in NCU’s Gymnatorium

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A fraction of the Kennedy House Orchestra

The US Embassy collaborated with The Kennedy House Orchestra and NCU to bring a spectacular emanation of classical music on June 13, 2013 to mark their last concert in Jamaica, following the end of their NYOJ (National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica)Voluntary Project in the Island.
Since its first establishment in Jamaica 51 years ago, “the US Embassy has hosted an uninterrupted series of cultural events in the island” as said by Yolanda Kerney (US Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer). This year, the embassy partnered with the Us Kennedy House Orchestra to embark on a voluntary project from which members from the NYOJ have received music instruments and music classes from the ensemble. When asked how the experience was at the NYOJ, Karen Lawry Tucker (player of a 230 year old violin) said that “it was fulfilling”.
Scores of viewers turned out at the Northern Caribbean University’s gymnatorium, and, despite the late start, everyone sat patiently for the first string to be pulled. The viewership did not only consist of Northern Caribbean University (NCU) students and employees. Special invitees and visitors from the US embassy, students and educators from neighboring high schools and members from neighboring communities were also present to grasp the momentous, lunch-hour occasion.
The ensemble, joined by members of the United States Air Force Strings, United States Army Strings and the Louisville (Kentucky) Orchestra sported a formal attire of black and white. The group consisted of 13 professional musicians, (Cellos, Bassist, Violas and Violinists). Diversity ranged from both the racial ethnicity of the professional players to the selection of pieces played.
Yolanda Kerney was satisfied with the turnout seen at the event of which she expressed her desire to see a growth of music programmes in Jamaica. The University’s Vivienne Dyer also thought the event was a success and indicated that her specialty for the day was Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, op. 20

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