For anyone who has doubted the wisdom of Reichhold Director David Edgecombe's commitment to fostering the talent of young artists on St. Thomas, they had to become converts last Saturday night.
The "Youth Expression" concert, performed by past STARfest participants, was a testimony to his vision.
STARfest has never been just about having your moment on stage, but is rather an intensive two-month seminar in production values.
Being able to sing or dance is just the beginning of a performance. Participants learn how to hold a microphone, how to command the stage, and how to integrate choreography where appropriate. They are privy to how a show is constructed, literally from the ground up. They become familiar with set design, entrance and exit cues and lighting design, all the elements that add up to a great, or mediocre, performance.
Well, Saturday night's grads did the Reichhold and themselves proud. They were confident and professional as affirmed by the enthusiastic response.
The "Youth Expression" concert was one of the shows originally scheduled for the 20th anniversary season's grand opening. However, due to Hurricane Georges, it, along with two other concerts, had to be postponed. The other two, also featuring STARfest alum, are scheduled for Feb. 27 and March 13 respectively.
Saturday, Feb. 27, will be four-time Calypso King Louis Ible Jr. in concert for the first time. As all in the community know, Ible is a seasoned and galvanizing performer. We are incredibly excited to be featuring him for a full-length concert, where he will perform not only those songs we all know and love, but also material that many will be hearing for the first time.
Saturday, March 13, will find Vince Chapman and Inflight with special friends on the Reichhold stage.
Chapman was the musical director for the first three STARfests. His band Inflight is based in Maryland. They describe their sound as a combination of contemporary jazz and smooth R&B with a touch of funk for fuel.
Joining Inflight as guest vocalists will be Terrance Gumbs (STARfest 1) Shakima Jones (STARfest 2 & 3) and Elton Callwood (STARfest 3).
Be sure and treat yourself to these two nights of great entertainment and appreciate how much these STARfest STARS have grown.
Editor's note: Renee Heider is the grants production manager at the Reichhold Center for the Arts.