Fundraiser hits a high note

The musical efforts of high school students on Grand Cayman culminated in a joint Christmas concert fundraiser – the proceeds of which were recently presented to the music directors of the John Gray High and Wesleyan Christian Academy schools.

Chief Education Officer Nyda Flatley congratulated the teachers and students, and, along with the department’s National Children Festival of the Arts coordinator Stephanie Williams, presented each school with a cheque, said a GIS press release.

The special December event came about as an Ivan-related fluke: after the annual NCFA was cancelled last year, and as the hurricane-damaged Wesleyan Holiness Church was being demolished and re-constructed, the two schools decided to join forces for an uplifting Christmas extravaganza.

The resulting concert was a sold out performance at the First Baptist Christian Church, which raised $4,000 towards music development, the release said.

The funds will assist in purchasing an acoustic piano for John Gray High, and will go towards the WCA’s annual summer music camp.

There were 75 students in the joint Christmas choir, and 90 students in the combined band section.

The music teachers spoke enthusiastically of the future of local performing arts, emphasizing that such combined concerts allow the budding musicians an opportunity to try out new repertoire, based on each others’ strengths.

‘This is a very good way of getting our students to work on improving their playing,’ said John Gray’s Head of Music Lorna Bjorklund.

‘Wesleyan is a good school to play with, and in addition to presenting a challenge, it’s a nice opportunity for the student musicians and teachers to bond.’

She added that the WCA band goes the ‘full length,’ as it includes not only soprano instruments like flutes but most importantly the bass section using the big brass/wind instruments such as tubas and trombones.

WCA’s Principal and Head of Music Mr. DeWayne Joslin said that his school is now exploring the possibility of hosting a joint music camp this summer. He also anticipates his church will host a second combined Christmas concert this year in the rebuilt Wesleyan church facilities.