Voices for Hospices satisfies audience, organisers
More than 550 people attended the Voices for Hospices concert last Saturday at the transformed Art and Recreation Centre in Camana Bay.
The event was organised as both a fundraising evening of musical entertainment and as a means of educating the public about the work of Cayman HospiceCare.
“We were trying to have an uplifting crowd-pleaser and I think it worked,” Jennifer Grant-McCarthy said afterward. As operations and fundraising manager for Cayman HospiceCare, she had potentially conflicting goals, but achieved a satisfying balance.
Admission, for example, could have been set far higher for the quality programme performed by the Cayman National Choir and Cayman National Orchestra with guest soloists Lisa Carlisle and Isabella Rooney.
Instead, tickets were $10 for adults and $5 for children. “We set prices that way on purpose,” Jennifer explained. “We were trying to encourage people to come out, feel comfortable and bring the kids.”
With sponsors covering productions costs, proceeds from ticket sales can go toward hospice work, she said: “We’re extremely pleased by the attendance and gratified by the public support.”
Members of the public attending were also no doubt pleased and gratified. The building that serves Cayman International School as lunch room and gymnasium is truly multi-purpose. With thick black drapes hung along the two sides, the hall had excellent acoustics. Information about the items performed and facts about HospiceCare were projected on a large screen, obviating the need for printed programmes. Cynthia Hew as moderator also kept the audience advised of what was coming.
She helped set the mood of the evening early on when she spoke about her own family’s experience with HospiceCare and the strength visiting specialists brought.
The concert featured a variety of music, from the familiar James Bond movie themes to difficult and therefore seldom heard operatic arias. One of the artistic highlights was the duet by Miss Carlisle and Isabella. At 13, she is just a little young to be called Miss Rooney, but she has a voice and presence beyond her years.
In a phone interview after the weekend, Isabella explained that choir director/ orchestra conductor Sue Horrocks had chosen Sull’Aria for the piece they would sing together and she taught herself the Italian lyrics in two or three weeks. Then she and Miss Carlisle had five or six rehearsals together. The duet from The Marriage of Figaro has been recorded by numerous more famous voices, but what the audience heard Saturday night could stand along any of them.
Miss Carlisle was brought from the UK a few years ago by entrepreneur Colin Wilson for a St. George’s Day fundraiser. She has quickly become a local favourite and fortunately Cayman seems on its way to becoming a favoured venue for her.
Voices for Hospices 2011 was part of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day – a worldwide campaign of concerts round the globe, on the same day, once every two years.
Cayman HospiceCare is a non-profit organisation that provides specialist palliative nursing care, free of charge, to any person living with terminal illness in the Cayman Islands.