Barbados Community Folk Chorale training sessions start Monday, May 23, 2022. (NCF)

Are you a singer? Can you hold a tune? Do you enjoy folk music? If yes, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is asking you to come out and be a part of the Barbados Community Folk Chorale training sessions starting tomorrow, Monday, May 23, 2022.

The community training and rehearsals are divided into four zones – North, South, East and West. Participants, who must be 14 years or older, can perform traditional folk songs, folk songs considered new or those created within the zonal groups.

Classes will start Monday, May 23 at two locations. Northern Zone sessions will be held at the Roland Edwards Primary School on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. while the Western zone will be at Frederick Smith Secondary School, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

For the Southern Zone, interested persons can head to The St Michael School on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. while Eastern Zone singers will go to Princess Margaret Secondary School.

The zonal sessions will be conducted by the Folk Chorale tutors renowned musician Ryan Boyce in the (North & West) and veteran singer Ronald Davis in the (South & East). 

Successful participants will be chosen, based on their talent, to form the Barbados Community Folk Chorale that will perform live in Golden Square at the Crop Over national folk concert on July 26, 2022, the Day of National Significance.

The NCF has crafted this programme with the hopes that it would tap into talent within the community as well as help preserve the country’s folk heritage.

Music Officer at the NCF Abraham Millington said he was elated to be a part of a programme that aims to promote this musical aspect of our culture.

He also added that the formation of the national group can lead to the resurgence of Folk singing, heighten awareness and knowledge of the genre as well as open the door for the possibility of an annual zonal Folk Festival competition.

“My vision for the group is that it reignites community interest across ages and period to be reignited into creative and competitive showcasing of Folk Chorale performances, with the intention of forming a large and staunch Barbados Community Folk Chorale. 

He added: “Folk song preservation is a cultural activity for all ages. It redefines and debunks the myths that people within a jurisdiction have no history or culture of which to be proud. Folk songs narrate the developmental strides within our country, hardships overcome, how past colonial and judicial systems affected the masses among others.”

Tutors Boyce and Davis are equally excited to get the show up and running in the communities.

Boyce said: “The community programme is exciting and is a great way to regenerate and rekindle the cultural landscape of Barbados at the community level. I am looking forward to seeing ordinary people patronise the event by coming with their unique voice and instrument to create sweet music.”

While seasoned singer Davis added: “I am happy to be associated with the Barbados Community Folk Chorale. This venture promises to be exciting and provides an opportunity for persons to perform on the Day of National Significance. Looking forward to seeing all of you come out and make your contribution as we mark this very important day in the history of Barbados.”

For more information on the NCF’s Barbados National Folk Chorale community project and any other NCF programme or events log on to our social media pages The NCF Barbados on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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