A financial support grant of $3M from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund has ensured Jamaica Youth Chorale (JYC) can enjoy an exciting concert season.
An elated Principal Director and Founder of the JYC, Gregory Simms, says the donated money is being used to cover the group’s winter tour that goes up to February 2023.
Just weeks ago, the Chorale pulled up the curtains on its concert season with Christmas Joy, its first musical performance in the Yuletide period since 2019.
The tour will continue with multiple performances, including at the Washington National Cathedral and other sites across Washington DC and New York in the United States of America.
“We were very happy that the Government made this facility available through the CHASE Fund. It takes cash to run these things (concerts) properly and our capital would not have been what it would normally be coming out of a pandemic. As you know, our income is really from performances,” Simms explains.
In its 14 years of existence, the JYC has worked with more than 300 young singers and musicians, empowering them in different genres and styles in music. Many of them have gone on to build careers in music because of the foundation set by the JYC with the support of CHASE.
“CHASE has been a rock-solid supporter of the work and mandate of the singing group. So, when we get support from CHASE, it is not just an investment to ‘go pan plane’. It really is fundamental to the development of choral music in Jamaica, which is what the JYC is about,” he said.
“Jamaican choral music is just as good as any other kind of choral music across the world, and we have had some success with that. The JYC is the only choir that has a digital album, and all the work in building a Jamaican choral repertory is because of the support of the CHASE Fund and our audiences,” he adds.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CHASE Fund, W. Billy Heaven, says it is important to support the Chorale’s concert season after two years of reduced activity, especially because of the JYC’s impressive track record in nurturing the talents of young performers and producing and managing quality shows.
He notes that the funding was provided through the CHASE Entertainment Industry Support Initiative (CEISI) 2022. This initiative was established to provide support for Jamaica’s entertainment industry.