ON Saturday, March 17, Hillel Academy hosted, what is slated to be the first instalment of their talent-showcasing event, Open Mic.
The event was billed around the theme 'Voice, Verse and Vibes' and it did not disappoint. In attendance at the event were members of the Hillel Academy family and supporters from Campion College and Immaculate Conception High School.
The event, an initiative of Hillel Academy's English Department, was hosted by Diane Chambers and Karim Smith on a beautiful outdoor stage. While the poets and musicians opened up their talents to the large audience, refreshments were made available throughout the evening thanks to generous sponsorship from KFC, Pizza Hut, Pepsi and Häagen-Dazs.
Original pieces from Hillel Academy came from Mariana Samuda, Kayla Campbell, Milan Cater and Jonathan Foster in addition to many other young men and women who proudly 'voiced', 'versed' and 'vibed' their various talents.
The event also featured a few prize-winning performers. One such person who delighted the attendees with the spoken word was Redbones' reigning Poet of the Year, Ali Matalon.
The vocalists and instrumentalists were not to be outdone in the celebrations of the night. Hillel Academy's JCDC gold medallist Bryan Royes, Megan Wong with Alex Brewster and the vivacious Eva Perrin-Fontana with her band all wowed the patrons with their melodies and musical wonders.
During the evening's intermission, new-wave Jamaican band Robot Taxi treated the crowd to their musical message.
Special guests Damali, Haile Clacken and the well-known comedian Duane Francis added to the vibe, with a special appearance by members of the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica presenting a dub poem on teaching to the enthusiastic laughter and applause of the audience.
Jamaican beauty and songbird Tami Chynn was on hand to close the show with a performance of some of her most-loved compositions. Her arrangement of songs highlighted how they developed, in one case, from a romantic ballad to the hard-rhythm classic everybody knows. Her clearly-visible support of young poets and up-and-coming artistes was inspiring.
In a beautiful night under the stars, Open Mic provided a grand opportunity for TEENs to showcase their talents and certainly, the night was literature in the making.