Competition continued in the 33rd Musical Festival in the open classes at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s on Wednesday with another beautiful evening of music.
Competitors in four classes faced judge Dr Richard Tang Yuk for a chance to move on to the championships. First up was Op-E1 Lieder own choice test piece. Vocalist Marc Morancie and collaborative pianist Chelsea Maharaj opened followed by Clarice Beeput and pianist Diamanda Garnes.
Tang Yuk told the performers, “I was so looking forward to this class today, this is so beautiful. What is a lieder? It is a German word for song and here I am not judging the singer only, I am also judging the pianist. How you work together as a team. “You also have to be very careful with the pronunciation of the German words and when you play in lieder you have to pay attention to be exactly in sync with the singer. If the singer is singing with an intense phrasing you have to demonstrate that on the piano with your tonal colour.
“Don’t look at yourself as an accompanist, you are part of the entity of the piece.” He then gave Clarice Beeput and Diamanda Garnes 87 points for first and with the other couple getting 83 points.
Next up was Class Op A7- Spiritual Solo Ladies and while they did not perform as listed, ten singers face the judge with some very moving pieces.
Renee Lawrence started the session with Guide My Feet followed by Siobhan Lawrence who performed I want Jesus to Walk with me. Christiana Lmessy’s performance of Dry Bones invoked a little chuckle from members of the audience. Glenis Potts weaved her way through You Better Mind and solicited a good round of applause.
Alliyah Boland then performed My Soul been Anchored in the Lord and she was immediately followed by Misty-Ann Knights who had the audience in the palm of her hands as she stood up and delivered He Got the Whole World in his Hands.
Jaydelle Baird came on stage and performed Ride on King Jesus before Patrice Inglesbirth did Sooner I will be Done without any accompaniment and she delivered a great performance.
Telesha-Marie Gonzales and Altea Hamilton finished off the class with My Soul been Anchored in the Lord and Ride up In that Chariot.
Tang Yuk thanked the singers for such a good show. “ I know I take a long time to give the results but I have to write comments on each sheet and I take that very seriously.
“This was very enjoyable but when you chose a piece for a competition it is critically important that it fits you. You must bring the audience into your world with the dynamics, and the colour of the song chosen. You must also believe in what you sing.”
Misty-Ann Knights placed first with Renee Lawrence coming second and Patrice Inglesbirth third.
Spiritual Solo continued but this time in Class OP A8 for Gents and Brendan Prince got off with I want Jesus to Walk with Me. He was followed by Cecil Cuthbert with the same song.
David Williams continued the class with Give Me Jesus and Anton Williams came up next with Steal Away to Heaven. Kory Mendez came on stage and delivered a moving performance of Lord How Come Me Here. He was immediately followed by another very good performance by Marc Morancie who delivered City Call Heaven.
Just like he did the evening before Quinton Neckles gave a dramatic performance of Witness which left the audience speechless. Colin Phillip rendition of Go Down Moses and Daniel Garavito’s Get on Board Little Children could not erase the hype left by Neckles.
Tang Yuk enquired, “Why is there not a men’s choir, you have a lot of good talent.
“So what makes an enjoyable performance, it’s about a choice of piece, that has a lot to do with it. The song must be about you being able to deliver. I really enjoy this class.”
Neckles gained 92 points while Mendez got 91 points and Morancie 90.
The final item for the evening was Class Op-C5 Parang Ensemble. Azucar Parang performed Que Nos Alegramos while APA Folk Swingers did Que Dijo and Eh Bien Oui Don performed Sabaneando. But the hit group of the evening was Los Amigos Cantadores with Andamos.
“I am always amazed when I come to Trinidad how the groups come in costumes. Where they find time to do all that,” said Tang Yuk
“In this class I listen for the vocal arrangement, the changes in the texture of the song and the band as a unit and how they balance with the singers. Above all I want to feel the energy and the spirit of the piece. I think TT choirs are so competitive.”