FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – A number of students participating in the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Adjudications in Grand Bahama said, on March 10, 2011, that they were not only excited to participate; but they also saw the personal development benefits of taking part.
Head Girl at Sunland Baptist Academy and Junior Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas Ms. Winnae Hunt said that it is always a pleasure being in the National Arts Festival, as it is a time for students to enjoy themselves by expressing their talents, as well as representing their schools.
“It’s a win-win situation for us,” Ms. Hunt said after her performance with a pop band from her school.
“We really enjoy what we do and the score does not really matter at the end of the day because it is for the love of music.”
Head Boy at the same academy Shridat Jadoo said that taking part in the National Arts Festival is a “really good experience” and affords the school band an opportunity to get exposure and showcase the talent on Grand Bahama.
He added that he feels that there is an important link between cultural expression and academics.
“There have been scientific studies showing that music enhances learning and helps you to learn better; so this gives us that opportunity to learn better that way and do better in school,” he added.
Fifth-grade student at Hugh Campbell Primary Trinity Russell said she was proud of the 90 she scored that day for her drama recitation.
“I feel wonderful,” she said.
“I really practiced a lot and I want to thank my teacher and my parents for encouraging me.
I felt very good having my mother here when I performed.”
“Rolling Thunder” drumline member and eighth-grader at the same Sunland Baptist Academy Kristian Moree said that it felt great being in a band because it gives him discipline, the ability to focus more and to want to learn more than before.
“I think it’s also fun for everyone to just get out there and show their musical talents off,” Mr. Moree added.
“It feels satisfying to take part in the National Arts Festival – to show off your talents and be graded by professionals,” he said.
“It shows you what you need to work on more and how you need to practice.”
Music Teacher at the Academy Ms. Sheena Moree said that she is very proud of her students and their work ethics.
“They worked hard towards this and I am really working with a group of motivated students who have a lot of talent,” she said.
“I give a lot of credit to them because they do what is necessary to be excellent in music, which is practice.”
She added that she is especially happy with seeing two of her nephews involved in the bands that were in the bands.
“That is a special source of pride,” Ms. Moree said.
“It’s hard to describe how I feel seeing them perform, especially when they do well.
I know that they love it and they practice and they are making their school, as well as their family, proud.”
Young Trinity added an encouragement for all those who want to participate in the National Arts Festival.
“Just believe in yourself,” she said.
“You might never know what score you might get; but no matter what score you get, you just try your best.”
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services