BY RICHARD JOHNSON, Jamaica Observer
The music of Chronixx has made its way into the repertoire of the University Singers.
The renowned choral group has included his work in their new season which commences tomorrow at Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of The West Indies (UWI), Mona.
For musical director Franklin Halliburton, this season, which runs on weekends in June, will be a strong one once the singers can execute what they have rehearsed each night.
He noted that there are several moments in the programme which should be popular with audiences. This includes the finale which features songs by Chronixx, whom many see as the standard-bearer for the new generation of reggae artistes.
“The format of our show remains the same. This is the tried and tested programme which we have used over the years. The show will open with the more formal material. This includes a Noel Dexter arrangement of Psalm 24, a nice big anthem. There is also an arrangement for the Doxology which I composed about 11 years ago, but it is just making is first outing. The second half is about our folk music and the contemporary works. I am extremely happy with the shape of the show and Djenne Greaves has put together a Chronixx medley which we are all excited about. He has masterfully woven tracks by Chronixx including Warrior, Behind Curtain, I Can and Skankin’ Sweet into something really special and this is something to look forward to,” Halliburton shared.
In previous years, the group has showcased the works of Tony Rebel, Beres Hammond, and Toots and the Maytals.
He said this year, the cast is fairly new as the choir has fresh voices which blends with its veterans. He noted that audiences can look forward to great presentations from the male voices, pointing to tenor Shakur Nicely who presents the popular folk song Liza.
Halliburton noted that it is not easier or harder to produce a concert season for the University Singers. For him, each year must be taken on merit despite the template created over the years.
“You have to see each show on its own and this year is no different. We have to bear in mind that we are a choir presenting material for a truly mixed audience and therefore they must be something for everybody. Items have to carefully selected to fit within the general contours of the show. We must create peaks and troughs. However, we have to be careful that the peaks are high enough and the troughs are not too low and the audience must be entertained at all times. For the just over two hours that they come to enjoy our music, our patrons must forget about the foreign exchange rates, the gas prices the crime and violence, the ZOSO and SOE,” said Halliburton.