Adventist Chamber Orchestra holds Christmas concert

Founder and director Bentley Vaughan directs the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Chamber Orchestra.

The Bodden Town Church held a full-scale orchestral Christmas classics concert featuring Trinidadian violinist Harold Beckles and local rising stars, saxophonist Junior Hines and flautist Janelle Tibbetts.

The 20-member Seventh-day Adventist Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of founder Bentley Vaughan, presented its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 17.

“This has been more than a musical feast,” said the church’s pastor, Ivor Harry. “This has been stupendous” and, in its celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, a “fitting way to enter the holiday weekend,” he said.

In his many years served in many countries, he said in a press release, he had seen many outstanding performances, but this night’s performance made him especially “proud to be an Adventist.”

Visiting international violinist Mr. Beckles, who has opened for international stars such as Wintley Phipps, Helen Baylor and William McDowell, said that in his many visits to Cayman, he had seen the orchestra grow and blossom, and predicted a bright future not only on the local but also on the international scene if members continued on their current track.

“Arriving, I didn’t know what to expect, but this has been an absolute joy,” he said at the end of the concert.

In his introductory remarks, Director Bentley Vaughan explained that the orchestra’s repertoire for the evening represented a mixing of genres, with classic Christmas songs interpreted in the frame of classical music.

Trinidadian violinist Harold Beckles plays ‘O Holy Night.’

Among the evening’s repertoire of classical music were Johannes Brahms’s “Lullaby,” which was tied in with “Away in a Manger”; Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No. 1,” lending itself to “What Child is this?”; Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,” for “Silent Night”; Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Midnight Sonata,” for “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”; and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” interpreted in the frame of “Liebesträume” by Franz Liszt, among other compositions.

Mr. Beckles and Mr. Hines, on violin and saxophone, respectively, and Ms. Tibbetts on the flute, performed Christmas classics such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Mr. Beckles, a self-taught musician whose playing style is described as a mixture of jazz soul and classical music, was invited to play first violin with the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Orchestra when fresh out of high school.

Also performing during the evening, the Bodden Town Bell Choir rendered “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

Between each musical performance, narrator Katya Hines reflected on the biblical story of the birth of Jesus.

The evening’s performances by the orchestra ended with “O Come All Ye Faithful,” to the melody of “Cantique de Jean Racine,” and “Joy to the World,” to the Hallelujah Chorus from Georg Friedrich Händel’s “Messiah.”

The Bodden Town Church’s offering collected for the evening went to the church’s Community Services Department to fund initiatives such as its soup kitchen.

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