The Cayman National Choir and Cayman National Orchestra are presenting their Christmas Spectacular at the Harquail Theatre on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature celebrated Jamaican tenor Rory Baugh, young local singer Mikayla Corin, the ever-popular a cappella group the Singrays, and the Cayman Youth Choir.
The event is part of the National Choir’s 40th anniversary celebrations and follows the highly acclaimed sold out concert at the Grand Cayman Marriott in June. “We will be performing our traditional carol concerts at Elmslie church on Dec. 12 and 14,” says
Sue Horrocks, musical director of the choir, “but we wanted to get the festive season off to a great start with a program of much loved and ever popular, mostly secular, Christmas music; songs you will come away humming.”
The orchestra has been expanded since the arrival of Jonathan Taylor as musical director and conductor this year. He has recruited musicians with instruments needed to fill gaps and is now able to field a 40-piece orchestra. No one attending the June concert will forget the spine-tingling opening bars of the overture to “Phantom of the Opera.” Taylor, who was formerly the musical director of the Greater Manchester Police Band in the U.K., has re-orchestrated a piece for the Cayman Orchestra and Choir which he has previously conducted, called “Christmas on Broadway.” It is sure to be a show-stopper.
The 50-strong choir and 40-piece orchestra is evidence of how the choir and orchestra have grown and prospered since musical director Horrocks took over the leadership in 1998. The Christmas Spectacular concert will be a fitting tribute to the progress that has been made, but new members of the choir and orchestra are always welcome.
Jamaican tenor, Rory Baugh, is the star soloist. He studied music at the Edna Manly College and vocal performance (classical) at the Jamaican School of Music. He is flying to Cayman for this concert and was last seen performing here in May when he sang with fellow Jamaicans Steve Higgins and Dahlia Wynter, supported by the Cayman National Choir and Orchestra.
Baugh will no doubt be an attraction for the Jamaican members of our community. Owen Henry, a choir member and director of the Jamaica Diaspora Cayman Association (JDCA) is encouraging Jamaicans to come to the concert and sign up for membership of the newly formed JDCA. Horrocks is delighted that the concert is able to assist the JDCA. “Music is the universal language that will break down all man-made barriers, soothe the soul and heal mankind,” she says.
Mikayla Corin has been performing musical theater for many years. “Nothing compares to the feeling I get when the bright stage lights hit my face … it’s electric,” she says. Through the Cayman International School and Musicians Ltd. I have been in ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Peter Pan,’ ‘Shrek,’ ‘Hairspray,’ ‘Fame,’ ‘Seussical’ and ‘Into the Woods’.
“I have also recently explored song writing at a music school in Michigan called Interlochen Center for the Arts and this has definitely deepened my interest in the Arts.”
The Christmas Spectacular is one night only. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets are available online from caymanaisles.com/etickets or from members of the choir and orchestra.