Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 28th 2014 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 28, 2014
PETER RAY BLOOD
She s just 20 and has already played with some of
world s best musicians including the late Ralph Mac
Donald, Robert Greenidge, Len "Boogsie" Sharpe
and Ken "Professor" Philmore.
The daughter of former Woodbrook Councillor
Cleveland Garcia, Ayana Garcia recently gave a recital
at the National Academy for the Performing Arts
(NAPA), Port-of-Spain to complete her degree pro-
gramme at the UTT APA campus.
A child prodigy, Garcia began playing pan at age
three when deceased Ralph Mac Donald and ace
arranger, her mentor, Robert Greenidge would visit
and give her scales to play. At that tender age Garcia
was like a sponge just eager to learn. Unknowing to
her parents she organised her computer classes on a
Friday afternoon at Trinity Junior School so that she
could attend Ava "Auntie Ava" Hutchinson-Agard s
music class. It was only after a mere two months when
Hutchinson-Agard called for her fees that her parents
knew what Garcia had done. So, it was arranged that
she would do music with Laura Franklyn, sing in the
choir at school and then do lessons with Auntie Ava
on Friday afternoons.
Garcia was given the opportunity to write the SEA
examination when she was ten and passed for her first
choice---Bishop Anstey High School (BAHS). At Bishop s,
Garcia continued her music tuition with musical director
Lorraine Granderson and sang with the BAHS choir.
After successfully completing her O Level exams at
15, Garcia signed up at UTT John Donaldson campus
to do animation but she had a change of heart and
switched to music.
She entered the music programme at the UTT
O Meara campus where she met Desmond Waithe,
her father s music teacher and musical director of
Republic Bank Exodus. Waithe soon recognised Garcia s
talent and took her under his wings. She completed
a two-year course in one year and by 2010 she was
entering the BFA Programme at UTT APA campus.
Waithe was and still is Garcia s mentor, guide, lecturer
and confidante. About him she said: "He is a true role
model to students and should be recognised for his
ability to nurture his students. He is one of the few
dedicated teachers that exist now."
Unable to stay quiet, Garcia has several certificates
to her name. She did dance with Noble Douglas and
the Lilliput Theatre; drama with Penelope Spencer at
Necessary Arts; broadcasting with Holly Thomas and
Edison Carr; Fashion Design 1 at UTT John Donaldson
campus; certificates in typing, introduction to business;
Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint; Adobe Illus-
trator and Photoshop from Deltasoft; and swimming
from the YMCA. In short this young lady is an all-
round achiever, excelling at anything she puts her mind
too.At UTT during her vacations Garcia would also do
the Logic courses with Martin Raymond and try to
get as much exposure to sound engineering from Ray-
mond, and Japanese Yoichi Watanabe and Kats Imai.
Garcia has played at the National Panorama com-
petition for many years with Witco Desperadoes,
Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove and PCS Nitrogen Silver
Stars. From birth she has socialised with calypso and
soca artistes and is well known in the music arena.
Garcia s finals recital was testimony of her musical
prowess. For these finals students were required to
plan a recital, organise sound and lights; crew; decor;
advertising; programmes and programme notes; music
score sheets; refreshments; photographers; costuming
and guest performances etc. They were being judged
by a panel. Garcia s panel comprised of Jonathan Storer,
Kwame Ryan and Desmond Waithe and she was suc-
Garcia titled her recital Stardust -A Musical Journey.
Following welcoming remarks by Garcia, the national
anthem was played on pan by veteran Natasha Joseph,
Louis Rodgers and Saieed Garcia. Garcia then played
a repertoire of seven selections, inclusive of Just the
Two of Us (Ralph MacDonald) Helter Skelter (W C
Lemon); The Barber of Seville (Gioacchino Rossini);
Tryin a Ting (Liam Teague); Mirrors ( Justin Timberlake);
Czardas (Vitorio Monti); and, Fantasie Impromptu
After she delivered a vote of thanks, Garcia was
joined on stage by her group, comprising Natasha
Joseph, Saieed Garcia, Jamila Reid, Anika Reid, Lisa
Goodridge, Louis Rogers and Joshua Salcedo.
For the grand finale Garcia and her ensemble played
the Mighty Sparrow s Rose, arranged by Len "Boogsie"
Ayana Garcia, despite her age, can be considered a
very knowledgeable and experienced cultural ambas-
sador, as well as an inspiration and mentor to young
people, since she has a wealth of knowledge of our
journey takes off
Ayana Garcia, centre, plays the double tenor at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-
Adjudicator Desmond Waithe congratulates Ayana
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