The Kanneh-Masons joined the ABYSO for Playing to Inspire for a third consecutive year. The concert featured a constellation of musical talent from across the world and from Antigua and Barbuda. No strangers now to the Kanneh-Masons, the audience showed that they just could not get enough of this amazingly talented family of musicians who trace their heritage to Antigua.
The audience was treated to music from all of the Kanneh-Masons to include skillful performances by Sheku of Faure’s Elegie Op 24, Braimah playing Intro and Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens and Isata playing the Scherzo no 2 Op 14 by Clara Schumann from her debut album ‘Romance’.
The younger Kanneh-Masons also showed their skill with great confidence and beauty. Konya played Chopin’s Waltz No. 5 in A flat op 42 and Jeneba showed her incredible ability on the piano with Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu. Aminata had the audience tapping to her lively rendition of Banjo and Fiddle by William Kroll and Mariatu showed her fast-developing talent as a cellist with WH Squire’s Tarantella.
The ABYSO also welcomed to Antigua British cellist, Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and founder of the In Harmony Education programme, Julian Lloyd Webber. Lloyd Webber addressed the audience expressing his support for the work and vision in Antigua and Barbuda to build a first-class youth orchestra. He then conducted the orchestra in Mozart’s K467, 2nd Movement which featured Konya on the piano.
The evening included performances by violist Kim Mai Nguyen, clarinettist Erica Cherry and trombonist Stephen Hughes all from the US-based music charity MusAid. MusAid is a key partner of the ABYSO providing access to experienced music tutors and orchestral instruments and accessories. Miss America 2019, Nia Franklin, also joined the ABYSO and Choir to open the concert with a powerful rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing. Antigua and Barbuda talent was on display with Khan Cordice providing the solo on steelpan to Vivaldi’s Winter and Arlen Seaton singing the lead in Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.
The audience included H.E. Sir Rodney Williams Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda and H.E. Lady Sandra Williams, the Governor General’s Goodwill Emissary under whose distinguished patronage the ABYSO falls. The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda was also in attendance along with the Honourable Daryll Matthew, the Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts.
The ABYSO expressed thanks to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the Jumby Bay Fund, the Linbury Trust, the Boltini Trust, Apex Advisers DMCC, the Blue Waters Hotel, the Sugar Ridge Hotel, Global Bank of Commerce Ltd, MedPath/Healthy Choice Radio, and the American University of Antigua for their sponsorship of Playing to Inspire 3.