The Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica will stage its second annual Spring Concert season on May 2-3 at the University Chapel, Mona. The first season in 2014 was hailed as a massive stride in the local music scene and featured the premiere of a seminal new work the "Nyabinghi Symphony" composed by Dr. Andrew Marshall.
This year's concert is titled "Sounds from the New World". Music Director and Conductor Franklin Halliburton states that "the title reflects the mix of musical items on the programme" which includes several pieces that were influenced in some way by events in the New World or written by composers from the Americas. "Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony is a perfect fit for this theme and the 4th movement will be on the program" says Halliburton.
In keeping with the orchestra's goal and custom, the programme will also have a strong representation of works by Jamaican composers including Paulette Bellamy, Peter Ashbourne and Jon Williams.
Appearing as a guest will be Ellan Neil, a classically trained Mezzo Soprano who sang with the University Singers for over seven years. Of late, she has expanded her scope to the Jazz circuit. She has sung across the Caribbean, USA and the UK to widespread acclaim. Her repertoire is said to span Operatic arias for dramatic Mezzo, American Negro Spirituals, Jazz and Contemporary Pop.
The Jamaica Youth Chorale under the direction of Gregory Simms is also expected to perform at the concerts and should add texture and variety to the programme.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Jamaica is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2013 by a group of like-minded musicians who have a vision of creating a high quality orchestra for Jamaica that provides a viable outlet for classically-trained musicians, conductors and composers. The management team led by corporate senior manager Andrew Ho has been recently strengthened by the addition of respected figures such as retired Permanent Secretary Patricia Sinclair McCalla and Angella Elliott of the Music House.