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Community Last Updated: Dec 12, 2019 - 10:13:44 AM

11th annual Evening of Christmas Music – Bahamas National Youth Choir
By Dexter Fernander, The Bahamas National Youth Choir
Dec 12, 2019 - 10:01:40 AM

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Under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency The Most Hon. Cornelius A. Smith, GCMG, Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, The Bahamas National Youth Choir directed by Dexter Fernander presents delightful night of Christmas music at their 11th Annual Christmas Concert. The concert is set to take place 7:30pm on December 17th, 2019 at Trinity Methodist Church, Frederick Street.

The BNYC was established in 1983 under the direction of its founder the late Cleophas R.E. Adderley, OBE, as a part of the celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of Bahamian independence. The choir, now directed by Dexter Fernander has over years toured and performed in twenty-eight countries on four continents including The United States, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Trinidad, Belize, Mexico, China, South Africa, and Swaziland. They have also sung in 27 languages including German, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Hungarian, Italian and five African languages.

Every year for the last 11 years, The Bahamas National Youth Choir has gathered some of the most talented Bahamian Artists to join them at concerts, and this year is no different. Concert goers can expect to hear the beautiful voices of choir alumnae Joann Fritz-Creary and Keri Sherman as well as Countertenor, Rashad Cunningham.

Joann Fritz-Creary who has been singing since the age of three is now an Attorney currently employed at the Financial Intelligence Unit. She joined the choir in 1990 and credit the organization and its members for being just like family. She said “the choir, like we always said was an extension of family, we made friends who we are still friends with today. We enjoyed music, we stayed in rehearsals for what it seemed like forever, but we enjoyed every moment of it.  If you’re with your family, you just had fun onstage and that’s what we did.” Fritz-Creary is the featured soloist for “Pie Jesu”, and “Still They Are Here”. For her, “Still They Are Here” reminds her of her time in the choir and certainly all the happy moments. She said, “What I like about the words in “Still They Are Here”, it really brought to mind the presence of “Uncle OP” as we’d call him, Cleophas Adderley. So, the first time I heard it, it brought back a lot of memories of him.”

Performing Arts Teacher Rashad Cunningham is not only a singer, but a dancer who can play up to 17 instruments. This amazing countertenor will be the featured soloist for “O Thou That Tellest” a song he said was originally written for alto voice. A countertenor is a male singer who has the vocal range of an alto or soprano. He said, “I have realized over the years of working with the Late Dr. Audrey Dean-Wright, and Dr. Paul Jones that I am more of a soprano. A lot of songs that countertenors sing, I find very low. So, a lot of times I change the keys of songs to fit more of comfortable range. But “O Thou That Tellest” is a pretty song and I can’t change the key because the choir has to sing. However, I really enjoy the song as it is talking about the birth of Jesus,”

Choir Director Dexter Fernander said, “for this year’s concert, I carefully chose compositions that reiterated the theme of “Hope”.  So, the music goes beyond the various era composers, but tries to connect with the audience of the transformative power of music.”  Additionally, he said “I am delighted to work with a Bahamian countertenor.  That music type makes wonderful soloists.”

Choir director and members are grateful to Reverend William “Bill” Higgs and the trustees of Trinity Methodist Church for their support of the choir over the past few years and they look forward to a continual relationship.  The choir also sends a special thank you to all who have helped to make the performance possible

Fresh from their 2019 Summer Tour of London, England, The Bahamas National Youth Choir invites you to their 11th Annual Christmas Concert. A concert like non-other and a night that promises to be an unforgettable one.

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