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ASHE responds to COVID-19 with ‘A Moment in Time’

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2020 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small - Staff Reporter

The ASHE Company found its niche in using the performing arts to educate, to entertain, and to send messages of healing and empowerment. So it should come with little surprise that the company has added its voice to the throng of those hurling battle cries at the COVID-19 global pandemic. As the virus took hold of the globe in a blink, ASHE put its strengths to the fore and volleyed its own retort with the skilfully written, quickly recorded and visualised tune A Moment in Time.

The free-for-all release of A Moment in Time continues ASHE’s mandate to be a performing arts company dedicated to ‘edu-tainment’ and advocacy. It also demonstrates its ability to do it all themselves, in-house.

According to ASHE’s integrated marketing and communications lead, Ifidel Williams, the song was written on Monday, March 16, and recorded that same night. The music video was filmed the following day, and by Wednesday, March 18, A Moment in Time was circulating on social media as the company’s response to the pandemic panic.

“The song and video are being circulated freely so that its real intention can be achieved, that is, to provide a source of comfort, healing, and encouragement for all, that this is just a moment in time, and it will pass,” executive director of ASHE Conroy Wilson told The Sunday Gleaner.

A Moment in Time has also been shared with radio and television producers. Wilson hopes that ASHE’s response will go wide and will encourage the public to think about how their families and business are affected by the crippling pandemic.

High risk

The company’s artistic director, Michael Holgate, contextualised their response further, noting that it was important to lead by example. The company’s performers worked elbow greetings into their choreography, with Holgate attaching the message, “social distancing is our friend”.

He also noted that it is important for artistes to keep working. “We are conscious that this pandemic affects not just the health of individuals, but also the financial health of organisations and the economy. As an arts-based civil-society company, we are in the high-risk category, financially,” Holgate told The Sunday Gleaner.

As the artistic director sees it, the arts are usually the first choice when an institution decides to ‘trim the fat’.

“As always, ASHE had to see how it can reinvent itself and keep rising while supporting our members, our sector, our country, and our world,” Holgate added.

The team that managed to write, record, and film a complete song and accompanying music video are Holgate - lead songwriter, music video director; Rudolph Tomlinson, Kemari Ewen, Tori-Ann Ivy - co-writers and performers; Ottmar Campbell - music bed and studio recording; Orlando Scaffe - audio support; Ifidel Williams - production coordinator; Peter Thomas - videography and post-production; Marlon Tomlinson - choreography; and performers Faybian Grizzle, Khumar McHugh, Antonio Campbell, Ackeria Smith, Tiffany Duke-Providence, and Dwayne Edwards.

“We intend to, as best as we can, continue to develop content that can educate, uplift, heal, bless, and empower because we are all in this together. Let’s work together even while being physically distant for the good of all,” Wilson said.