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Talented youngsters enjoy being in spotlight

Twenty-year-old singer Candace Furbert brought audience members to their feet with her powerful vocals during Thursday night’s performance of ‘To Live is to Dream’, writes Nadia Arandjelovic.

With adrenaline powering through her system, she said she was able to push past the nervousness to pull off her outstanding performance.

She took part in five weeks of the nine-week summer programme and was able to broaden her skills. She was even convinced to pick up a guitar for the first time.

Candace believes if turned into a full-time educational centre, the Makeda Trust programme could help develop young talent to unprecedented levels.

She said: “We need a place where everyone can go and release and express themselves.

“We have all the different schools around the Island so if we had one big place, we could combine a dance school, drama school and music school to better serve the community.”

Devine Easton, 13, shone in her role as Mayella Ewell in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

The Berkeley Institute student said she has always been passionate about acting, but the nine-week programme ignited an interest in dancing as well.

The aspiring writer said she hoped the community would rally behind the programme.

“I think they should support it because you don’t hear much about Bermuda’s talent.

“There aren’t any constant shows running. It would be nice if we could open a school so we could start from young and continue acting. Young people could have something positive to turn to.”

Budding actor Jordan Simmons-Trott, 13, said he enjoyed his time in the limelight playing Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

“I had a major role and I found it was easy to express myself,” he said.

Jordan said he came to the Makeda Trust summer workshops with little understanding of techniques for acting.

“I am loving knowing how to dance, act and sing. It means everything because one thing I have learnt is if I want to be actor I have to do more than act. I have to do a bit of everything.”

He first started acting in a Christmas play in Primary Two and said performing on stage and showing people his talent makes him happy.

“There are so many young people that have so much talent, but really can’t do much about it because Bermuda is so small. They do not get to join in on this enjoyment so I am looking for this becoming a permanent centre for the youth.”

Rickai Burrows, 15, said the programme taught him to broaden his horizons. It also gave him useful techniques to improve his dancing, singing and acting.

The CedarBridge Academy student said he learnt he is more capable than he thought. “I was able to expand my vocal range. I used to sing pretty low, but am reaching higher notes now.

“I am proud of myself because before I kind of wanted to do my own thing but being a part of a team teaches you to be humble and enjoy yourself.”

Delijah Symonds sacrificed her 17th birthday celebration on Wednesday to attend the final group practice before the big show.

She said: “At first I was upset, but then I realised by birthday isn’t going anywhere, but the presentation has to be [on Thursday].

“It was an eye-opener about real life because if you really want something and need to do it you will sacrifice whatever you can to be there.”

In addition to honing her singing and acting abilities during the summer programme, Delijah said the process helped her mature as an artist.

She believes it could help others expand beyond their comfort zones and said: “It is a great programme for youth because it not only keeps us out of trouble but it teaches us a lot and opens our eyes.”

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Published September 03, 2011 at 9:14 am (Updated September 03, 2011 at 9:13 am)

Talented youngsters enjoy being in spotlight

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