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  • Professional and amateur singers are being encouraged to enter the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which sets the tone for the island’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations.
  • Speaking with JIS News, Interim Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Orville Hill, said the competition is not restricted to only new talents but also professionals in the music industry.
  • “We want experienced persons in the business to use it as a means of effectively sharing their talent with the Jamaican people,” he said. The competition took a break in 2017, and in its absence, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport produced a commemorative album featuring a compilation of past entries not making it to the winner’s enclosure.

Professional and amateur singers are being encouraged to enter the 2018 Jamaica Festival Song Competition, which sets the tone for the island’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

Speaking with JIS News, Interim Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Orville Hill, said the competition is not restricted to only new talents but also professionals in the music industry.

“We want experienced persons in the business to use it as a means of effectively sharing their talent with the Jamaican people,” he said. The competition took a break in 2017, and in its absence, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport produced a commemorative album featuring a compilation of past entries not making it to the winner’s enclosure.

In an effort to improve the competition, the JCDC has named a seven-member committee to oversee the organisation of the 2018 event.

The committee, which is made up of the Board of Commissioners of the JCDC and individuals who have experience and knowledge in the music industry, is headed by veteran journalist, Vernon Darby. According to Mr. Hill, “having this committee will assist in bringing back the life and energy and also improve the focus delivery of the local Festival Song Competition”.

He added that the expertise within the industry will be combined with the expertise that resides in the management portfolio of the JCDC, to bring greater focus to the competition.

A series of development workshops will also be held within the four JCDC regions, starting in January 2018, to assist persons who have expressed an interest in entering the competition.

Mr. Hill said that these workshops are aimed at identifying and developing new talent, and will focus on areas such as composition, lyrics, writing and what it takes to develop an interesting song.

The overall prize money will be $10 million, to be shared among the performers, songwriters and producers. The top-10 finalists will also receive packages.

Entry forms for the Jamaica Festival Song Competition can be accessed on the JCDC website at www.jcdc.gov.jm, at the JCDC head office at 3-5 Phoenix Avenue in Kingston, or at any JCDC Parish Office islandwide. The deadline for submission is February 28, 2018.