THE MARIA HOLDER MEMORIAL TRUST CONGRATULATES
THE ST. LEONARD’S 100 BOYS’ CHOIR ON INVITATION TO CARNEGIE HALL
In its continuing efforts to enhance the lives of young people, the Barbados-based Charity The Maria Holder Memorial Trust extends congratulations to the St. Leonard’s 100 Boys’ Choir on being invited to Carnegie Hall in 2016.
Choir Director Andrew Lokey made the announcement at the choir’s Christmas concert on December 20th at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Effervescent and interactive, the concert demonstrated the dynamism and dedication of this group of young men who recently impressed international musicians in Barbados and as a result, received an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2016. “This is exactly the kind of progress and development The Maria Holder Memorial Trust envisaged when it chose to invest in supporting the Choir “said Jane Armstrong, Chief Project Manager of The Trust.
The Trust’s funding is used to enhance the group’s vocal and aural training, support the literacy and academic development of choristers, provide leadership seminars to the students, support motivational initiatives, and develop a breakfast programme at the school for choir members.
“Our support of the St. Leonard’s 100 Boys’ Choir is in keeping with The Maria Holder Memorial Trust’s commitment to creating longevity by helping to improve all aspects of the lives of young people in Barbados,” said Chairman and Co-Founder of The Trust Christopher Holder. “The hard work of these young men through their excellent music must be saluted at a time when we see so many negative images of young people. They provide a positive model through their music and the impact that they have not only in their school, but also in their communities is significant and important. We are proud of our continued and growing association with this choir.”
The Choir’s influence and impact are evident with the increasing emergence of more boys’ choirs in Barbados. They shared the stage at the Christmas concert with the very promising St. Cyprian’s Boys’ Choir and Choir Director, Andrew Lokey also confirmed the growing number of boys’ choirs which he attributed in part to the influence and partnership of The St. Leonard’s Boys’ Choir. During Saturday’s concert, The Maria Holder Memorial Trust expressed pride in the Choir and its work in nurturing a cadre of young talented boys in the discipline of music. In a public acknowledgement of their diligence and success, members of the choir received Trinity Guild Hall Certificates in Music from Grade 1 through to Grade 8; some with Merit and others with Distinction.
Choir Director Andrew Lokey expressed his appreciation for the support provided by The Trust: “Thanks to The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, we can now expand our efforts to make music the vehicle to excellence in every fibre of these young men. Most people are now aware of the amount of work that our choir puts in to bring their unique sound to audiences and the sacrifices that are made. We can offer them more programming to help them develop into not only outstanding choir members, but outstanding citizens as well.”
Saturday’s performance, titled “All Bells In Paradise”, featured the music of the Christmas season and also included appearances by Carole Bishop and the Waterford Musical and Cultural Society. About The St. Leonard’s 100 Boys’ Choir
The St. Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School was one of the first ‘newer’ secondary school on the island and has remained the only all-boys secondary school to date. The choir has been in existence since 2000 with around 30 choristers but in 2008 the musical director embarked on the 100 Boys Choir Programme. The St. Leonard’s 100 Boys’ Choir was formed under the guidance of Messrs Andrew Lokey and Pernell Farley in the year of 2008. The main purposes were to offer a practical avenue for musical expression, to build self-esteem through success in exams and performances, and to continue the rich tradition of chorale singing in boys, which was almost dormant on the island. Since then they have seen a steady increase in boys desirous of becoming members of the choir. The Choir entered the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) and won 4 Gold awards. They then traveled to England in the summer of 2010. Having performed at Classical Pops 2014, the choir has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2016. Their repertoire includes musical genres of: Classical, Gospel and Negro Spiritual. ***************************