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The ABYSO Presents ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ – A Celebration of the Season

The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO) will bring the curtains down on a packed year of music making and development with a Christmas concert gala aptly titled “The Spirit of Christmas”.

This concert will be held on Sunday the 18th of December,  5:00pm at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church and will include a range of music from well-loved carols to holiday staples such as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite through to music from Handel’s Messiah.

The ABYSO will be joined by an intergenerational choir, noted local singers Charmaine Quinland-Donovan, Barbara Matthews, Flora Haywood, Claudine Benjamin, Clarita Thomas and Rhonique Knowles as well as the celebrated musical duo of Dr George Roberts on steel pan and Vivi Gheka on mandolin. As an extra special treat for attendees, the ABYSO and the Choir will be joined by pannist Zahra Lake as they together debut a specially commissioned arrangement of Dr George Robert’s Away in the Manger, Caribbean style.

Renowned conductor, Roland Melia, will join the ABYSO for this concert supported by ABYSO Conducting Understudy Joelle Michael. Since 2008, Roland has taught conducting technique privately to students of all ages. He now teaches students at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities and also formally tutors ABYSO conducting understudies Joelle Michael and McKeullan Morris.

Following studies with David Robertson (Head of Conducting at Juilliard, New York) and Ilya Musin (Head of Conducting at St Petersburg Conservatoire), Roland conducted orchestras in Britain such as Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia and Royal Ballet. Abroad he was a founding Artistic Director of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, worked with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and St Petersburg Philharmonic as well as Symphony Orchestras in Portugal, Mexico and Chile.

The year 2022 has marked a period of remarkable growth for the ABYSO.  Following the unwelcomed interruptions of the pandemic, the ABYSO showcased its resilience with a plethora of live concerts, the launch of its highly successful Play Out mini-concert series and held its annual instrument repair and maintenance workshop.

This Christmas concert finale will ring out 2022 and ring in the New Year with music designed to energise, encourage reflection and celebration. The Nation of Antigua and Barbuda is invited to join the ABYSO and friends at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church on Sunday 18thDecember 2022 at 5:00pm as they lavishly, joyously and triumphantly share “The Spirit of Christmas” with you through songs, instrumentals and verse.

The Patrons and the Board of Directors extend thanks to our generous partners Ocean Point Resort & Spa, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the Antigua Grammar School, Government House, the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, the Holy Family Cathedral, Dr Jillia Bird and our ticket outlets The Larder, Woods Pharmacy and Crab Hole Liquors.

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