From ‘Foreign’ to ‘Yaad’, VoiceBox shares the Christmas spirit
Tessanne’s charges, celebs thrill with The Four Seaons of Christmas
For the uninitiated, the four seasons of Christmas are Foreign, Movies, Home and Yaad, in no particular order —but perhaps you have to be Jamaican, or closely associated with a Jamaican to fully appreciate them all.
In their first public outfit called The Four Seasons of Christmas, performing arts group VoiceBox, the brainchild of Tessanne Chin, thrilled a bumper crowd at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre last Sunday.
Patrons filing into the venue in St Andrew knew they were in for a Christmassy treat with the first glimpse of the set created by set designer, Kurt Nunes. They snapped, danced and sang as the seasons unfolded, narrated by Glen Campbell who appeared in character as a Jamaican “Santa Clause-man” and had the audience in stitches as he conversed with Rudolph throughout the show to navigate the “seasons” of a Jamaican Christmas.
In the season of Foreign, the cast of 34 youngsters aged 6-18 delivered North American holiday classics. Standout items were Cascabel (Jingle Bells), as well as Baby it’s Cold Outside presented by Atlas, Jaxen, Gio and Wayne Mitchell paired with female counterparts Arya Chin, Victoria McDermott, Zuri Gordon and Tami Chin Mitchell. The segment was capped off by 2023 Digicel Rising Star, Remone Watson, who creditably delivered Winter Wonderland.
The next season was Movies in tribute to the beloved holiday tradition of watching movies with family. Here the VoiceBox-ers brought famous movie tracks to life including Let it Go and Do you Want to Build a Snowman? adapted from Disneys Frozen and performed by Sasha Gay Sutherland, Lauren Campbell, Sahai Edwards and Chelci Hylton (in the former) and Arya Chin, Julianna Lee and Kailani Alcock for the latter.
Reggae singer, Alaine, led the cast in a joyous rendition of Joy to World, and Tessanne delivered Climb Every Mountain in fine style with young vocalists Je’rard Hall and Lauren Campell. Sisters Zuri and Aimee Gordon, accompanied by Lamont Savory on acoustic guitar, closed the set with Eidleweiss, taken from the Sound of Music soundtrack.
Moving into the season of Home the full cast and smaller ensembles enlivened the audience with upbeat classics including Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas, Silent Night, Carlene Davis’ Santa Claus, Do You Ever Come to the Ghetto? and an adorable rendition of Santa Baby performed by the youngest cast members. Closing this segment was Romaine Virgo with a medley of I’ll be Home for Christmas, before delivering his own hits with fellow Rising Star alum, Christopher Martin, who came onstage as a special treat for the audience.
The season of Yaad saw the cast performing Sing Di Chorus and Down in Jamaica after which an emotional Tessanne returned to the stage with votes of thanks during which she mentioned a list of sponsors including CVM TV, The Ashe company, the Digicel Foundation, Wisynco and Citidental as well as “other donors” .
“Tonight is a dream of mine that was given birth just over three years ago with six students. As VoiceBox grows, I want these children to be a symbol of the powerful message and promise that our children carry,” she said as she urged Jamaicans to protect the nation’s children.
Voicebox performed on a few days ago at Scotiabank’s Christmas in the Park at Emancipation Park and, on December 25 will be the centre of a a Christmas special being produced by CVM TV, which has signed a three-year agreement in support of the group.