Although community choirs in Barbados are not “fully embraced” by today’s youth, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, Steve Blackett, believes the activity still plays a crucial role in society as it “builds community cohesion”.
Mr. Blackett shared these thoughts last Sunday while addressing the Community Development Department’s 45th Anniversary Service of Song, at Restoration Ministries.
The Minister acknowledged the work done by the department and the co-host of the evening’s proceedings, the Community Choirs Association.
He commended the contribution of the officers of the Community Development Department, whom he said worked tirelessly with the choirs over the years to ensure their sustainability.
The Ministry, through the Community Development Department, has assisted the Community Choirs Association from its inception, through training workshops and a number of choir competitions.
Addressing the success of these initiatives, Mr. Blackett stated: “The Community Choirs Association truly exemplifies the tenets of community development, as it has with the requisite training become less dependent on the assistance of the Community Development Department”.
He noted that community choirs had been in the “annals of our history” as far back at the 1930’s, and it was therefore “only fitting” that such an organisation which is synonymous with community development, join with the Community Development Department as a partner in its celebrations.
The Service of Song featured performances by the St. Thomas Community Choir, St. Stephen’s Community Choir and the National Assistance Board Choir, among others.