The 60th E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications took place from April 8-11 on the island of Abaco, beginning with Crossing Rocks Primary School on the first day.
The students of Crossing Rocks Primary contributed outstanding performances in the categories of visual arts, choral verse speaking and choir.
According to Principal Brenell Higgs, the students performed well in the individual and group choral speaking earning a score of 90 (Lily Thompson), and 88 (Grade 4 and 5), respectively. The choir also fared well, scoring an 83.
Meanwhile, St. Francis de Sales Catholic School’s students executed the school’s motto of, “Achieving Excellence Through Unity, Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge” during their adjudications on April 9 particularly during their liturgical dance segment.
Liturgical dancers Kathleen Mendoza, Ariel Richardson, Dahphaney Maxine, Brianna Fenelus and Sheena Thervil gave a magnificent performance to Koryn Hawthorne’s gospel song “Speak the Name”. Honorary dancer, Stephanie Francois, was injured a few days before their performance.
With Kermisha Curry-Celestin as the choreographer and Robyn Beckles as the director, not only were the dancers commended as the first Liturgical Dance Team at St. Francis, but their first performance at the National Arts Festival earned them an honor score of 96 out of 100.
According to Bahamas Information Services (BIS), Dance Adjudicator and Cultural Icon Lawrence Carroll, said the liturgical dance performance by St. Francis was one of the best that he had ever seen in the Festival, as he noted their “solid choreography, utilization of proper dance moves, and use of both upper and lower torso in their production” as some of the areas where they excelled in their performance.
St. Francis students also showed off their diverse talents with solo and group recorder performances.
Also on April 9, a full Junkanoo rush-out was performed by the students of Forest Heights Academy. Their performance included choreography, detailed costumes and various instruments such as cowbells and percussions. They, too, received a distinction score from Music Adjudicator Trent Elliott Davis.
Adjudicators also visited Every Child Counts (ECC), Hope Town Primary School and Forest Heights Academy highlighting the schools for their impressive musical performances.
The E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival is an annual national competition comprising music, dance, art and drama for people ages two years old and older. The National Arts Festival is overseen by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.