Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2015 Contents SHEREEN ALI
Can you imagine 4,000 chil-
dren singing Happy by Phar-
rell, and One Love by Bob
Marley, on a Saturday afternoon at
the Queen s Park Savannah?
That s what will happen on May
16 at the Grandstand, from 4 -- 6
pm, when for the first time ever, so
many children here will be joining
their voices in a mass choral event,
to include 12 songs.
The concert will celebrate T&T
children as one community, through
the medium of music, in a totally
inclusive way that is not about com-
petition (like, say, our music festi-
vals), but is rather about embracing
all children in united performance.
For the past four months, thou-
sands of boys and girls from 100
primary schools from all parts of
T&T have been hard at work
rehearsing their songs, in an effort
inspired by the Young Voices UK
choirs, who have been doing this for
18 years now.
Among the songs the T&T young-
sters are learning is: You Gotta Be
by Des ree; Lean On Me by Bill
Withers; the Lion King Medley (a
big favourite among the children);
Happy by Pharrell Williams; One
Love by Bob Marley; and All Ah We
Is One Family by Lord Nelson.
Profit is not the point of the event,
said the energetic UK broadcaster
and TV personality Gigi Morley last
Thursday, in an interview with the
T&T Guardian at the Hyatt hotel in
In town to help organise the event
on behalf of Young Voices UK, Mor-
ley said all ticket costs will go towards
basic costs for producing the show---
such as lighting, sound, staging and
Young Voices UK has subsidised
most of the costs so far, with valuable
help from the T&T Ministry of Arts
and Multiculturalism (which has
waived rental fees for the Grand-
stand) and Ministry of Transport
(which is volunteering use of PTSC
buses to transport the children on
the day). Digicel is sponsoring the
fees for the guest performers Ran-
dolph Matthews (from the UK), Tes-
sanne Chin (from Jamaica), and local
Digicel Rising Stars winners Neval
Chatelal and Neisha Guy.
Young Voices UK goes global
Gigi Morley is originally from
Diego Martin in Trinidad, and left
career in the UK.
An enthusiastic Morley explained
what the project was all about.
Young Voices, started in the UK,
combines the power of singing
together as one, with accompani-
ment from a wide range of musicians
and artists, to create mass youth
performances that are memorable.
Last year, Young Voices UK held
concerts involving over 120,000 chil-
dren taking part in the UK and Ire-
land. The aim is to provide a music
experience for children that they will
benefit from and remember for the
rest of their lives.
"Young Voices is literally for the
first time this year going global," said
Morley. "There s going to be Young
Voices America on June 4, Young
Voices Germany...and they re in talks
with a few other places, like Japan,
and Croatia. It s really exciting."
The idea to hold such a large chil-
dren s concert in T&T is so new here,
she said, that many principals, when
they first heard of it, probably
thought she was "some crazy lady."
Morley soon realised she would
have to personally go all over T&T
to meet with stakeholders, explaining
the value of the learning, sharing,
and community feeling that concerts
like this can create.
Morely herself has been directly
involved in hosting Young Voices
concerts in the UK for the past ten
years. She says this form of music
education is not only fun for chil-
dren, but also has a strong, positive
impact on them.
Morley s work to make T&T
Young Voices happen has opened
her eyes to T&T s byzantine admin-
istrative requirements compared to
the UK. UK principals are
autonomous, and do not need any
ministry approvals to embark on
such projects, she commented.
"Literally, if I knew then what I
know now, I may not have done it!"
she joked, laughing at the many
unexpected challenges that popped
up along the way.
During 2013 and 2014, she net-
worked with T&T ministry officials,
and many others, and she said she
wrote more letters in a year and a
half than she d ever written before
in her entire life.
In T&T, Morley soon realised that
in addition to the layers of local per-
missions and bureaucracy to be
negotiated, there was also the matter
of overworked primary school teach-
ers, many of whom felt too over-
whelmed with existing workloads
to take on anything extra.
"So I realised I d have to get on
a plane," said Morley.
She enlisted the help of Lorraine
Granderson, a music teacher for the
past 41 years, who became the prin-
cipal choir conductor for T&T Young
Voices. She then connected with
curriculum officers, and decided to
speak personally to primary school
principals all over T&T.
"Miss Granderson and I literally
got lost all over T&T! Rio Claro,
Valencia, upper Cumaca, Biche,
Penal, Sangre Grande, Arima, you
name it, we ve been there... talking
to principals and saying: This is
what the Young Voices programme
is, have a look at the YV videos
online, and then Miss Granderson
would explain to them, from the
point of view of a T&T teacher, why
this was something they should not
let their children miss out on."
"I got Chikingunya in the
...in historic T&T choir concert
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Continues on Page A30
A study by Facebook s own
researchers has investigated
whether the site s "news
feed" filters content that
users disagree with politi-
It finds that Facebook s al-
gorithms do sift out some
challenging items---but this
has a smaller effect than our
own decisions to click (or
not) on links.
By far the biggest hit to
ting" content comes from
the selection of our Facebook
Other experts welcomed
the study but also called for
more, broader research.
Published in the journal
Science, the new study was
motivated by the much-de-
bated idea that getting our
news via online social net-
works can isolate us from
Critics have argued that
this effect, particularly if ex-
acerbated by "social algo-
rithms" that select clickable
content for us, is bad for
democracy and public de-
Facebook tips news balance 'less than users do'
personality Gigi Morley
at the Young Voices UK
2014 concert in London
at the O2 Arena. PHOTO
COURTESY GIGI MORLEY
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