“The bulk of music teaching in this region centers around rote training and follows the model of the Royal School of Music system… It was more common than not for students to have incredible improvisational skills, beautiful voices, and the ability to perform on more than one instrument. Their creativity abounded and their enthusiasm was infectious.”
In the August issue of Choral Journal, Christy Lee (Maryville, Tennessee) writes about her experience in The Bahamas in 2008 when she accepted an opportunity to teach music in an international setting. She describes her first weeks of teaching, challenges of island living, and how she began to learn the true meaning of “Music in Paradise.”
As the international festival America Cantat 8 continues this week in Nassau, choirs and conductors are experiencing island living and the joy of creating music with people from other languages, other countries, and other cultures. She mentions her first time hearing junkanoo, a native art form: “No recording or description had prepared me for the riveting impact of the beat of goatskin drums combining with brass, whistles, and cowbells.”
Sonovia Pierre, a Bahamian singer, songwriter, and music educator, is hosting a workshop for America Cantat 8 called “Join the Junkanoo!” It explores contemporary music of The Bahamas, including pop and sacred works, and everything in between. To learn more about junkanoo, goombay, and other Bahamian art forms, click here.
You can also read more about Christy Lee’s Bahamian experience in the August issue of Choral Journal! Just click here. (Note: you must be logged into the ACDA website as a member to view the Choral Journal online.)
Click here to “like” America Cantat on Facebook to see photos and videos live from concerts and workshops in The Bahamas!