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Los niños cantan feliz navidad - Jamaican students perform Christmas songs in Spanish

Published:Wednesday | December 4, 2019 | 12:08 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Josep Bosch, addresses the audience.
Ambassador of Spain, H.E. Josep Bosch, addresses the audience.

In any language, Christmas songs bring joy to the heart and a smile to the face. So it was last Thursday, when students of various Jamaican schools performed Christmas songs and poems in Spanish.

The occasion was the 14th staging of Concerto De Villancicos, Navidad en Espanol – ‘Muchos pueblos, una lengua’, organised by the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and the Embassy of Spain in Jamaica, and held at the spacious Webster Memorial United Church, Half-Way Tree Road, St Andrew.

Twelve schools participated. Their selections came from Spain and Latin American countries. But the students’ reasons for participating are as varied as the schools they are from, The Gleaner found out.

For grade-five student, Imani Folkes, giving up her free time for rehearsal was because “Spanish means a lot” to her. She also sees the language as another way to express herself, even when she is not understood.

Rasahad sees it as fun, especially when he was learning the pronunciation of words, like rolling his tongue for the letter R in order to make word-sound authentic. On the other hand, Nora-Kay Brown’s interest in learning the Spanish song was because she wanted to be a member of her school’s choir.

Among the schools showcasing their talent was Half-Way Tree Primary. The school has performed at all 14 stagings of the Christmas concert. Perhaps that was why they were given the task to lead the singing of the closing song, Feliz Navidad. The talented group also performed the most items, including the unfamiliar Burrito Sabanero.

Norman Manley High School, with vocalists and band, provided intrigue with the song !Ay, Del Chiquirritin!

St George’s College and Immaculate Conception High School with Llega La Navidad and Duerme No Llores, respectively, sang well. But it was Wolmer’s Boys’ School students who demonstrated the best command of the Spanish language in a fine delivery of Poema De Navidad.

Tarrant High School did well in delivering the ­soothing sounds of Noche De Paz, while Point Hill Primary and Junior High School, from St Catherine, captured the happy sound in Cascabel.