The Antigua Grammar School (AGS) walked away with the top prize for the 2023 British High Commission’s (BHC) Commonwealth Day Pan Playoff.
Government House came alive, today, with the vibrant sound of steel pan music as the entries for the competition serenaded the audience to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2023, as part of a parade and ceremony organised by the office of the Governor General.
AGS’ Savio Williams (bass), Keondré Athill (triple guitar), Gerai Hughes (single tenor), Zhaveah Benjamin (double tenor), Jaser Joseph (double second), Javier Spencer (double guitar) and Jireh George (drumkit) won over the judges with their submission, which featured six different national anthems from across the Commonwealth.
Williams, who arranged the winning piece explained, “These anthems were fused so that the people of the Commonwealth can be reminded that at the end of the day, we are all one people with a rich heritage.”
He added that the winning piece also highlights the talents of young people and the role they can play in realising a brighter future within the Commonwealth.
The Antigua Girls High School’s team comprising Vonique Edwards (tenor), Jaunéya Thomas (tenor), Jayzian Wyke (tenor), Jamesha Trotman (guitar), Raain Weste (triple guitar), Zia Nathaniel (six bass), Toyka Thomas (drumset) and Evincia Benjamin (congas) copped the second place position.
Meanwhile, the Princess Margaret School (PMS) claimed third place position, with their eight-member team.
The students representing PMS were Gabrielle Francis (cello), Kenisha Massicot (double guitar), Shanyah Payne (single tenor), Rhenne Edwards (single tenor), Kéjual Peters (drums), Elesiha Powell (six bass), Amori O’Garro (double tenor), and Chibueze Uzoma (double second).
The arrangements will be posted to the Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda Facebook page on Tuesday 13 March 2023.
The students were presented with medals and certificates during Monday’s commemorative ceremony. AGS, AGHS and PMS will be presented with school equipment valued at $1,500, $1,000 and $700 respectively, at a later date.
Groups comprising of five (5) to ten 10 students were asked to submit a four (4) to five (5) minute video recording of an original arrangement using the song ‘A Commonwealth Chorale’, which was Composed by Graham Dinnage and lyrics by Vivienne Cox.
Special thanks is extended to Alison Cox of Commonwealth Resounds for assisting with the selection of the motif piece.
Students were also asked to explain how their chosen arrangement aligned with the core values and principles outlined within the Commonwealth Charter.
The British High Commission celebrates the students, their teachers and their schools for their excellent presentations.