'Symphony Under The Stars' seeks to wet appetites

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By: Kemesha Bolton and Elizabeth Smith
Photography By; Milton Raynor

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Classy is definitely the best word to describe what can be expected at this year's "Symphony under the Stars," slated for March 15 at the Cable and Wireless National Golf Academy in Kingston. Touted as the event to relieve stress and even depression, the occasion is sure to appease all, including those who are just in the mood to enjoy some good music.

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The first staging of Symphony in 2007 received critical acclaim for high technical quality and artistic excellence.

For 2008 the line-up is just as impressive, with Grammy award winner Roberta Flack gracing the stage along with, The New York Orchestra; that occasionally accompanies icons like: Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand, Masterpiece Orchestra, Chalice, LUST ( Lukie D, Trilla U, Singing Melody and Tony Curtis), AJ Brown, Da'Ville, Courtney John, previously known as "Yogie" and Duane Stephenson.

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Tourism Minister the Honorable Edmond Bartlett has embraced Symphony Under the Stars as he continues to promote "Events Tourism" and charged the promoters to make the event bigger and better. He said, "These events are good for Jamaica because they bring more feet to the streets." He also mentioned, "Jamaica continues to be the place for top class musical events and the Symphony Under the Stars coincides with Reggae and Black History Month." The Minister then pledged JA$50,000 to the University's Reggae Studies Unit.

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Staged by S.H.E.M Production, Symphony Under the Stars is spearheaded by event producers, Ruby M. Robinson, Singing Melody, Gary Anderson and Jackie Knight- Campbell of Top Klass Events and Marketing.

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Diplomats from the British High Commission, Canadian Embassy and Ambassadors from the United States, Brazil, Mexico and China all gathered for the launch held at the Hilton Hotel, New Kingston, in February.

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Norma Brown-Bell was MC for the launch that featured the Masterpiece Orchestra under the direction of John Williams. That four piece band is comprised of: Emily Elliot - Cello, Ann Trout- Keyboard, Noel Peck- Violin and Williams, and they certainly were a refreshing addition to the business of announcing this great event.

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Promoters noted that the venue, which has a capacity of 10,000, will be transformed into a tabernacle, where patrons will be ministered to with sweet, squeaky clean musical compositions.

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Sponsors are: presenting sponsor - CVM Television; The Jamaica Observer, Hot 102, Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, Lascelles Wines and Spirits, Fiji Water and Arizona Ice Tea; The Hilton Kingston( official host hotel), The Jamaica Tourist Board, Air Jamaica, Euro Star Mercedes Benz( official ground transportation), Nestlé's Nescafe, Kool FM, MegaJams, Best Buds and IRIE FM. Other sponsors are Beautiful Brides and Mr. Tux, Kingston Hireage, and What's On Jamaica.

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