Best buddies win duet at South Music Festival

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

BEST FRIENDS WIN: Childhoon friends Arianna Reefer, left, of Holy Faith Convent in Penal, and Mac Kenzie Roberts, of Naparima Girls High School perform in the girls duet (13-15), which they won, at the Music Festial on March 5 at the Naparima Bowl in San Fernando. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

CHILDHOOD friends Mac Kenzie Roberts and Arianna Reefer attend different secondary schools, but on March 5, they united on-stage at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, to win best girls duet (13-15) at the south-central leg of the Music Festival.

Roberts attends Naparima Girls High School while Reefer attends Holy Faith Convent, Penal.

They gave a touchingly sweet blend of their voices.

They were the first of six duets to sing, The Lazy Man Song, adopted by Arthur Waley from Chinese poet Bai Juyi (aka Po Chu-i) who lived in the years 772-846.

Roberts/Reefer won with 88 marks out of 100. Second came Elizabeth Ramesar and Sargam Sinanan on 87, with a third-place tied on 86 marks between the duets of Emily Ramnarace and Richelle Seeram plus Tianna Caesar and Celeste Greenidge.

Elizabeth Ramesar, left, and Sargam Sinanan sing The Lazy Man Song in the girls vocal duet (13-15) at Naparima Bowl. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Adjudicator Nadine Gonzales said these were the best duets she had heard so far in the entire festival.

She said the performances were strong with each performer holding their part.

However, she said they had shown very few dynamic contrasts, which in fact only one duet had displayed. Gonzales praised, “Nobody’s performance fell apart.”

She said 40 marks went for proficiency, 40 for interpretation and 20 for balance between the two voices. She said in some duets, one voice had been significantly stronger.

Gonzales said all pupils had won, by gaining experience, education and a new part of their musical journey via the festival. “Keep singing!” she urged.

The judge hailed parents and teachers for supporting the children.

Gonzales commented on Roberts and Reefer. “Beautifully done. More use of dynamics needed. Good blend.”

She said Ramesar and Sinanan had beautiful voices, good expression and good use of dynamics, but had a few pitchy moments.

Leis Boochoon, left, and Maya Matai sing the Lazy Man Song in the girls vocal duet at the Music Festival on Tuesday at Naparima Bowl. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Newsday met with Roberts and Reefer later.

Roberts said, “It was a very fun and enjoyable experience. We would not have had that much time to prepare but we did take every chance we got to meet to practise.

“It was rough at first because we were not getting the blends properly. But I think today we did it really well.”

Newsday noted they both wore different school uniforms and asked how they had met.

“We met when we were children. We have been childhood friends. We met in church and then we go to the same music classes.”

Asked how their performance had gone, Reefer said, “It went better than all the practices but Mac Kenzie literally said most of what needs to be said. I think we did very well and I think we did the best that we could.”

All of the competitors in the girls vocal solo (7-10) semis, sing The Cupboard on March 5 at Naparima Bowl in San Fernando. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Caesar told Newsday, “At first I didn’t like the song. Celeste is my friend and in working with my friend it was really enjoyable.

“Getting the piece together and slowly working together, developing it, the process ended up being very enjoyable.

“It was well-executed today and I am very pleased with our performance and our placing.”

Caesar also sings with the choir of St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando.