The Antigua and Barbuda National Youth Choir will soon take up the mantle of Commonwealth Music Ambassador from Commonwealth Day in 2018, after being named the 2016 winners of the Commonwealth Community Choir Competition.
The choir entered the completion in 2016 but only recently received the news that they outperformed choirs in 51 other Commonwealth nations in last year’s competition.
The win is one for the history books in Antigua and Barbuda and is being lauded by officials from the Ministry of Culture and National Festivals including the Minister himself, Paul Chet Greene, who told ZDK News that he was elated, more so because of the hardworking choir members.
“My initial response was to shower praise and congratulations on the choir and its leadership because the team is very hard working. The Cuban voice trainer along with the choir Director, they are real hard working people so when I heard the news of us capturing the Commonwealth prize. you could understand how elated I was,” he said.
He further spoke of the importance of the program and stressed that the next step is to encourage their continued hard work.
“The next step is to encourage the team on its trajectory because it is a very important program; the training of voices, it speaks to the preservation of our Carnival celebrations, it speaks to the preservation of traditions, choirs and single vocalists and to have those training opportunities at a young level as demonstrated through the youth choir, certainly speaks to a commitment on the part of the government to not only expose but to train our youngsters in all of these areas in cultural industries.
So, on behalf of the government and the people of Antigua and Barbuda I want to publicly express and extend congratulations to the choir, the entire team for making the nation proud, it represents something significant to have topped the competition tells us we have a lot of potential and we can achieve much more than what we are currently achieving through hard work…..it certainly gives some attention to arriving at excellence.
The national choir was also afforded the opportunity to travel to London in spring 2018, with all expenses paid, to perform and record the winning song.