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On the Verge

On the Verge……….of Something Great!! Written by: Melissa G Zuniga Photos by: L.C.G Photography & Poconobwy Productions The Belizean sound, as it pertains to music, is yet to be defined. Since we are a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, technology-driven country bordering both the Caribbean and Central American region, this should come as no surprise. Belizean musicians gather inspiration from one or more of these sources and are constantly modifying and merging various sounds to create new interpretations of classic beats and modern fusion of different cultures. Take hip-hop music, stir it up with Reggae, mix in heavy metal music, and add a dash of Belizean flair. The result: a wondrously resonant assault of the auditory senses and one of the newer musical groups on the scene, Verge of Umbra. Long time musicians and friends agreed to come together to form this group and fuse this eclectic mix of different genres. The group consists of: drummer, Faith Madubuko; bass, Lowell Gillett; guitar, Andres Pineda; and vocalists, Jermaine ‘Jenko’ Jenkins and Kernelle ‘Nello Player’ Parks. This group has done numerous performances over the last few years including: Metal Mayhem, Nouveau Fashion Show, 2014 Belize Film Festival, Hurricane Richard Benefit Concert and Belikin Fest. Currently working on their debut album, the group has already released a video for their first song “All the Way Down” and will be producing two additional videos for their songs “Chaos” and “The Meditation”. The video for “The Meditation” was shot just last weekend and it was encouraging to see the support from fans and friends who turned up in rock/metal and reggae themed outfits enjoying the mood and positivity of the video shoot. The future of this group should be closely watched, as they are not only breaking new ground in the local music arena, but also because they are respected performers and instrumentalists and have the ability to lead and inspire the next generation of musicians to venture into unchartered waters and appeal to and even wider audience. For more information about Verge of Umbra: Phone: 501 629 8506 Email: Website: Youtube:

Pan Yaad 2014 It’s All About the Pans…….Steel Pans!

Steel pans have been credited as the only acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century. The first steel pans were created in Trinidad and Tobago, by recycling old 55 gallon drums. They carry a distinct sound and today, they are played and listened to worldwide. True to Belize’s multicultural background and Caribbean influences, the steel pans have found a home here as well. Since 2009, the Pan Yaad Concert has become a highly anticipated event and one of the highlights of Belize’s September Celebrations. This year’s concert featured 3 groups: the veterans, Pantempters Steel Orchestra; Belmopan City’s Panerrifix Steelband; and the newcomer, Pandemonium Steel Band. It was a night of pure bliss and each group brought something unique to the show and kept the crowd on their feet. Pandemonium Steel Band is the result of the collaborative effort of NICH, Restore Belize, and UNICEF and its goal is to increase the number of Belizean, at-risk youth playing music and to provide a positive outlet for them. Pandemonium wowed the crowd with their arrangements which included: an evolution of dancehall music, a Belizean medley and a Nigerian-Caribbean mix. It was the culmination of months of hard work and a wonderful manifestation of what can be achieved when one is given a fair chance to accomplish something. Both the Pantempters Steel Orchestra and the Panerrifix Steelband have junior sections. They range in ages from 5-13 and captivated the audience with their vigor and love of music. Great things can be expected from these young musicians. Panerrifix Steelband, from Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan, is no stranger to the steel pan scene and took the stage and performed a series of modern tunes, Belizean pieces and a Caribbean fusion. With support from their Belmopan fans and Senior Steppers, they engaged the audience and kept the crowd moving. The Pantempters Steel Orchestra started in 1992 at the University College of Belize and has now evolved into the largest steel band in Belize. Each year this group enthralls their audience with not only their music, but their costumes and stage presence. This year, their playlist featured Samba, Soca, Belizean, and Nigerian pieces. Their high energy performance sustained the energy from the previous groups and had the audience shaking and swaying. The second segment of the concert featured combined performances from the various groups and encouraged the spirit of working together and music being a force of unity. Everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing a Pan Yaad concert. It is a most wonderful experience: the reverberating sound of the pans, the gleeful faces of the pannists and the festive atmosphere from the crowd are just a few of the sights and sounds you will encounter!

Violinist – Cindy Priscilla Burgos

Cindy Burgos began playing the Violin at the age of 12 when she enrolled at Pallotti High School. She studied violin primarily under Miss Linda Calderon and a year later with renowned Belizean violin instructor Colville Young Jr. Under Colville Young Jr, Cindy has been able to play with The Belize Chamber Group and Pallotti School of Music’s Junior and Senior Orchestras.

In 2004 she was given the opportunity to attend a Suzuki Summer Institute in Ontario, Canada, where she participated in a 2 week long violin program that exposed her to a broader knowledge of violin techniques and orchestra playing. She later on completed her Violin Grade 8 ABRSM examination in 2008 under the special tutelage of French violinist, Gilles Rabinovitch.

Cindy began teaching at Pallotti School of Music in late 2011 after seeing the need for more violin instructors. Upon seeing her interest in teaching children to play the violin, Sr. Mary Terese, the director of Pallotti School of Music, sponsored her tuition to attend a 2 week long Suzuki Method certification course held at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. This was what really rooted her calling to teaching the children of Belize how to play the violin.

In 2012 it was announced that the Youth Orchestra of the Americas would come to Belize to give its first ever world class symphony performance. Cindy acted as the concert master in the joint performance of the newly formed National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize and YOA, performing Merle Isaac’s Gypsy overture. In addition, she was invited to play alongside YOA in their performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnole.

Cindy continued working alongside Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History with its goal to grow the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize. It is through this organization that she was able to participate in the 2013 Youth Orchestra of Central America and the Caribbean (OJCA), held in Panama. She became one of the first Belizeans to participate in this orchestra meet. The following year she was again chosen to represent Belize in OJCA held in Nicaragua and Guatemala, where she played alongside the young musicians of the Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg from Germany.

This year (2015) Cindy was selected by OJCA and Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History to represent Belize in a week long workshop held at Yale University School of Music and a benefit concert held in Washington DC. She was able to work with Yale faculty and graduate students in violin technique and string ensemble playing. She also had the opportunity to play alongside 7 exceptional musicians chosen from each Central American country and The Dominican Republic. This was made possible through Kevin Shaffter’s Musaid program. This program seeks to aid music students around the world through teacher workshops and musical instruments. Last year MusAid held a summer music camp in Belize that aimed to train both students and teachers of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. MusAid has since donated several wind and string instruments to the program in Belize.

Currently, Cindy is one of two main violin teachers for Pallotti School of Music and the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. She teaches kids to play the recorder at St. Joseph Primary School and conducts a string program at Our Lady of Guadelupe Primary School. Furthermore, she donates her free time to mentoring youths enrolled in the Pandemonium Steel Band – an afterschool steel band program sponsored by NICH, Restore Belize and UNICEF.

Cindy is proud to be one of the handful of people in Belize that has chosen music as a career. However, her path is set to continue to learn all that she can in workshops such as the MusAid workshop at Yale and participations in OJCA. This year she auditioned to attend the 2015 Youth Orchestra of the Americas’ Canada Tour and was accepted. Her passion extends beyond just playing the violin but becoming a pivotal role in the growth of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize – Belize’s first and only full orchestra. For more on cindy visit YOA .

Skip Marley

Worl-a– is pleased to introduce to you Skip Marley ; not a house hold name as yet but with his first single “Cry to me “ , he is definitely going to be one .Skip is the son of Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley who is the CEO of Tuff Gong. With that signature Marley voice, skip captures his grand dad’s sound in this track which is reggae fused with pop produced by himself and Paul Fakhourie who has worked with the likes of Lauren Hill , kashief Lindo , Eric Clapton , Nas and Julian , Stephen , Damian and Ziggy Marley. The track shows him singing to his interest comforting her with that flow just as his granddad did decades ago. For a first single, definitely skip is one in that third generation that has a lot coming his way. The track is a smooth groove carrying that archetypal Marley sound. Enjoy “Cry to me”.