First Diocesan Music Camp A Big Success

“I am taken aback by the quality of presentations we have achieved in two weeks,” the Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Howard Gregory, stated following an afternoon of exciting and entertaining performances by youngsters who participated in the Diocese’s first Summer Music Camp.

“Many parents think of music as a distraction, but it helps in many areas of a child’s development; and, in fact, several famous musicians around the world started in Church,” the Lord Bishop told the campers, their parents, clergy and other persons who attended the mini-Concert held at Christ Church, Vineyard Town, on July 25.

Highlights of this closing programme included an upbeat, steel pan rendition of the hymn, Rock of Ages, and a song entitled “Good Ground,” which was written by the campers. This was based on the parable of the sower and the seeds which was the focus of the devotions led one morning by the Rev. Fr. Michael Elliott, Rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Portmore.

Twenty-two youngsters participated in the two-week camp, which began on July 14 and was sponsored by several individuals, private companies and clergy. Most of the campers came from churches in Kingston and St. Andrew; and there was one from Rural Hill in Portland, as well as three visitors from the United States who were in Jamaica for the holidays. The camp was directed by Miss Stephanie Williams and Mr. Andre Adman from the School of Music at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. They were assisted by Mr. Lorenzo Hall and Mr. Kemoy Outar, who conducted steel pan and drumming classes. Participants were also taught to play the recorder, the acoustic guitar, choral singing and sight reading (reading musical notes).

The Summer Music Camp was organized as part of an effort to expand the range of music used in the worship of churches across the Diocese; and to develop the talent of youth to enable them to play their part in this change.

Following this successful effort, several workshops are now being organized to prepare the campers for a possible Christmas performance. The first of the workshops, which will run for approximately two hours, will be held on Saturday, October 11 at Christ Church, Vineyard Town, starting at 10.00 a.m.