Young talent were the stars of the night at the TropicalFete Countdown at the Brooklyn School of Music on Dec. 18.
The annual event hosted a night of dance, calypso music, and stilt dancing. Guests came out to see kids perform steel pan renditions of popular songs, and experience a live band that everyone seemed to like, said the show’s host.
“It was a smashing hit for everyone with an appreciation for live music,” said Tanisha Burke, hostess of the event. “We had a well-seasoned band filled with horns, saxophones, trumpets, drums and guitars — it was fully loaded.”
But the stars of the show was a steel pan ensemble of youngsters in colorful hats, who took the stage to perform different numbers from classical music, to funk, and pop, said Burke.
“The children’s outfits were so beautiful — they wore these green hats that lit up and added a sparkling glow to the stage,” said Burke. “They took us through a trip of every genre.”
The youthful band enjoyed their year end debut after practicing for every weekend it since September for the show.
“They enjoyed themselves immensely and showed a lot of confidence,” said the musical director Ricardo Greenaway. “They were very excited they supported each other as they got to see their hard work up close.”
Alongside the sounds of steel, were stilt performers who danced to music of the band. But the one of the highlights of the night was a hilarious calypso folk music presentation by Dr. Witty, a calypso performer who sang a song detailing the struggles of being black in the world — something the younger generation could benefit from knowing.
“I liked Dr. Witty’s performance — he was so creative with his words and he was so easy and smooth — he didn’t need to do any extra antics,” she said. “The kids got entertainment and a history lesson.”
The three hour kid-friendly event was a chance for children to showcase their skills and show to parents the importance of musical programs. As one of the top goals of TropicalFete’s mission, which includes encouraging musical talent in young children, Burke says the pride the children showed afterwards was a sign their mentorship was accomplished.
“You just had to see the look on their faces,” she said. “They were telling people they performed in a show and this is now bragging rights for them.”
Both Burke and Greenaway say they champion music programs for kids because the impressive end result increases positive improvement in children.
“Well one thing about developing talent, it boosts your self confidence and makes you more sure of yourself when you step out into the world, and it adds more velocity to your character,” said Burke.