Youth Asked to Support ‘Stop the Violence’ Concert

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Bahamian Choir in concert. (file photo) 

By: Llonella Gilbert

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Young Bahamian Music Society is asking for public’s support at its “Stop the Violence Free Event Concert”, which will be held on Awarak Cay, Saturday, December 22, 2007.

Minister of State for Youth and Sports the Hon. Byran Woodside said the Ministry fully supports the Society, as well as the event, at a press conference, Monday, December 17, 2007.

Mr Woodside said, “We are appealing to the general public to come out and ‘show some love.’ It comes at a time where we are at a stage in this country where violence is of concern.”

He also explained he believes the event will allow youth to send out positive messages while at the same time allowing their talents to work for them.

“That is the most important part of this programme, which excites me,” he said, “the fact that this is going to be a stage for young people to get opportunities to enhance their talents and to be discovered.”

Also in attendance at the press conference were Dwight Jones, Director of the Young Bahamians Music Society and three artists that will be featured at the concert Lakeisha Ferguson (Ke Ke Baby), Brian Evans (B. Evans) and Andre Johnson.

Mr. Jones said the free concert will involve an “open mic” session early in the afternoon; then there will be a positive rap song writing contest where young people who have already submitted their songs as part of a competition will let the audience decide who will be the winner of that competition.

Later in the evening young Bahamian recording artists will perform their songs they have on radio or have recorded and, finally, there will be “the rest of the best,” where youth involved in the Young Bahamian Music Society who have already recorded and released an album will perform.

Mr. Jones said, “What we really would like to do with this project is to bring focus on the fact that we think young people can communicate positively to their peers in ways other sectors of the community may not be able to.

“The Young Bahamian Music Society feels we are a good programme to provide the community with what we like to call ‘high profile youth role models’.

“These young people are here to represent that and let it be known they really want to do something in terms of curving some of the violence that is going on in the Bahamian community today.”

“Ke Ke Baby” also asked for the public’s support. She explained that after the large number of murders this year, the public needs to focus on the positive.

“For us here, we would like to encourage young people to look into yourself and find out what is positive in you.”

B. Evans added that young musicians can play a part in bringing people together.

“I ask for your support in coming out and do not be afraid just like you are not afraid when you are angry to express yourself. Come out to express yourself through music.”

The Young Bahamian Music Society has a studio free for Bahamian youth on the corners of Meadow and Augusta Street.

Mr. Jones explained, “The reason why we have the Young Bahamian Music Society is because without a programme like this, the young people could not afford the $65 to $75 an hour it takes to record music, which ends up being – if you want to do it properly – around 30 hours, which turns into thousands of dollars.

“In our last three years, we have provided over a quarter of a million dollars in recording time in production assistance to young Bahamians.”

He said young people who would like record professionally should call the studio at 380-9267.

Mr. Jones also asked for corporate help, as the Society has only received financial support from three or four businesses.

“We think it is important that people in the corporate community … understand that music is something young people can relate to,” he said. “It has a calming effect for young people and, at the same time, it is a universal method of getting positive messages across.”