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The Music Project, 3rd annual high school pop band competition held
By Felicity Darville
Mar 7, 2019 - 7:00:38 PM

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Queen's College announced The Music Project 2019 winners

Nassau, Bahamas - Eleven school bands from five islands recently participated in the third annual high school pop band competition The Music Project (TMP), with Queen’s College taking home the top prize. All band members of QC’s “Thrive 2 XL” pop band will receive an all-expense paid trip to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts this summer to become engrossed in a training camp that will hone their skills and boost their confidence even more. This is the second year that QC has won the top prize. Mentor Dion Turnquest guided the kids through their three performances. Each band had to perform a cover song, a Bahamian song and an original song written and composed by the students themselves. QC chose Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, KB’s “Toters” and also performed their original song “Big Dreams”.

The competition was held from 2 to 10pm on Saturday, February 16th, 2019. During eight hours of rigorous competition, local and international judges deliberated, while also providing useful advice to the participants. Judges for the 3rd annual competition were not the same judges from the previous two years and comprised of both international and local judges with extensive industry experience, who were independent of TMP's board or participating schools.

Government High School wins third place and takes home $2,000

St.George’s High School’s “Jags” pop band of Freeport, Grand Bahama took home the second place prize along with $3,000 for the band. Jags performed a crowd-pleasing Earth Wind & Fire rendition of “September”, followed by Sweet Emily’s “Bring Back the Good Ole’ Days” and their original composition “You Gotta Believe”.

Meanwhile, The Government High School’s “Magic Ivy” pop band took home the third place prize - $2,000. The group was mentored by Obie Pindling, who guided them through their selections, including Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”, rake n’ scrape style.  RM Bailey’s “Elevation” pop band was the Social Media Award winner. They were mentored by Nehemiah Heild and Lady E and they enjoyed crowd participation when they performed D Mac’s “Dog Don’t Bark at Parked Car”.

St. George's High School won second place and takes home $3,000

There was no cost to students for the competition, whether in New Providence or the Family Islands. Family Island students are additionally provided with airfare, accommodations, meals, transportation and other essentials at no cost to them.

Other participating pop bands included: LN Coakley’s “Adiago” band out of Exuma, whose selections included Michael Jackson’s “Give Me One More Chance”, mentored by Anishka Gardiner; Nassau Christian Academy’s “Mic Drop”, which sang Avvy’s “Ghost Move”, mentored by Isaiah Taylor and Merchia Walker; Aquinas “Aces” with the original song “One Song, One People”, mentored by Victor Johnson; St. Anne’s “Sound Waves”, which dressed in camouflage and sang Dentiny’s Child’s pop hit “I’m A Survivor, mentored by Calvin Parker and Bodine Johnson; Noble Preparatory Academy’s “Spartastic Vybez” band in their first year of competition, singing their original song “Love Me”, mentored by Stephon Barr; Central Andros High, which wore handmade Androsia outfits and chose “Darling, You’re the One I Love” amongst its songs and was mentored by Mark Turnquest; and Gateway Christian Academy’s “Emerge” Band, singing Ty Tribbet’s “Victory”, mentored by Oslien Jadorte.

Queen's College students celebrate their victory

In between school band performances, the crowd enjoyed performances from groups such as the University of The Bahamas’ Elite dance troop, Rhythmic Hands and TMP’s founder Drew Harmony. During his performance, Drew told the crowd that when he was in high school, his love and passion for music didn’t have the outlets for him to express himself the way he wanted; therefore, he had a vision to create it for the kids of today. This resulted in TMP, now in its third year and going strong. He commented that through the sponsorship of Zamar Productions, students were exposed to a world class stage with a full set up of lighting and audio, setting the tone for them to feel comfortable performing in this environment.

Hosted by Bodine and K. Darren Turnquest, TMP successfully held a mini-concert featuring some of the country’s best performers, including Ira Storr and the Spank Band, Lady E, D Mac, Dyson Knight, Ricardo Clarke, Nehemiah Heild, Avvy and more; all of whom are mentors in The Music Project.

St. George High School's Jags pop band

The event was held at the Botanical Gardens and hundreds turned out to support the students. Sponsors included Rev and Our TV, which conducted a live feed of the show for the viewers at home to enjoy. Other sponsors included Atlantis Resort, Breezes, Bahamasair, Fresh Entertainment, The Guardian Group (The Nassau Guardian, Hot 91.7; Guardian Talk 96.9 and Star106.5fm); Radio House (100 Jamz, Joy 101.9, Kiss 96 and Y 98fm); Bahamas Waste; Caribbean Bottling; Cash N’ Go; BAF Financial; E-Tix and the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture.

The Music Project aims to provide a vehicle that rebuilds the entertainment industry by discovering young and upcoming bands and exposing young musicians to all aspects of the entertainment industry.​ Prior to the final event, competitors were exposed to training sessions, where they were given tips and encouragement from some of the best entertainers in the industry.

The Music Project was founded to encourage youth participation in the arts. Using music as a positive outlet for high school students throughout the nation, the vision is to build spirited communities where cultural expression is encouraged and supported, in an industry where infinite talents, hobbies, and career opportunities exist. TMP’s board noted that each year, there is something learned from the competition which is implemented to ensure the integrity of the program and event. Through an emphasis on dedicated practice paired with responsibility, organization, and teamwork, it is TMP’s goal that participating students come to learn the power of their own talents and abilities.

Queen's College Strive 2 XL band announced the winners

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