Students at Bodden Town Primary School were treated to some good old hand-clapping, finger-snapping, foot-stomping music during assembly Wednesday morning.
More than 100 youngsters gathered in the school’s assembly hall to enjoy the performance by a choir made up of 21 students from Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, Florida.
“We are very grateful to have had the Cambridge Christian School Choir perform for us this morning,” said June Elliott, the school’s principal.
“We all enjoyed and appreciated their presentation. It was good to have our students exposed to the variety and quality of music, and the friendliness of the performers added to the richness of their presentation.”
Cambridge Christian School Fine Arts Director Shaun Stimson said the students decided to come to Cayman to do a choir tour at various churches, schools and nursing homes to spread some music and love of Jesus during their week-long spring break.
Led by Chorus Director Missy Rawls, the choir performed “Shosholoza,” a Ndebele folk song that originated in what is now Zimbabwe but was popularized in South Africa, “Disney Dazzle,” “Praise His Holy Name,” and finished up with “Stomp,” which got the children in the audience excited and joining in.
“The students loved the kids, and wanted to talk to them afterwards,” said Ms. Rawls. “It’s great because music bonds people.”
It was Ms. Rawls’s first trip with the group, which has visited the Cayman Islands several times over the years. The group has been visiting various countries throughout the Caribbean for about 30 years, and the last time the choir visited Grand Cayman was four years ago.
“I come here and I see the people, the love, and the way you are raising your children, we are getting away from that in America,” she said.
Ms. Rawls said this year the group got to take in most of the major attractions on island, such as swimming with dolphins, Stingray City, visiting Hell and trying some delicious Cayman food, including some special heavy cake which was dense and “very fabulous.”
She said the group is staying at the Prospect Youth Camp and have been enjoying the sunrises and sunsets since arriving on island last Thursday.
Jon Caplinger, an alumni chaperone from the school, said he came on the trip eight years ago and for him it was a big thing. He said his family is from Jamaica, and he was personally used to going to the Caribbean, but a trip like this gives students from Cambridge Christian School an opportunity they may not otherwise have, to interact with kids from different backgrounds, and hear a lot of stories.
“That was something that touched home for me some years ago, all the different stories from the places we went, like the old people’s home, the churches and the schools,” said Mr. Caplinger.
“I realized everyone has their own story; that’s a beautiful thing and you kind of get a taste for life. It’s awesome – I loved it and the kids love it too.”
Russell Dostal, a school chaperone, said after leaving the Bodden Town Primary on Wednesday, the choir would head to the First Baptist Christian School.
“We hope to be an outreach, not just in our close community back home, but to go out beyond the United States and reach other people,” he said.
“We had one of the students give a testimony of his life with Christ, and we hope to in our music be glorifying God. Music can be a silent evangelist for some people, who can pick something out of what they hear to have a spiritual meaning to them.” The group leaves Cayman Thursday.