I attended West Indies College, now Northern
Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica from
1973 to 1978. I was 18 years old when I
arrived on campus on September 1, 1973.
I earned the Bachelor's
Degree in Theology and a minor in Natural
Science. Having already been a organist,
pianist and base soloist in Nassau for ten
years, I joyfully joined the Meistersingers
Choir, became one of the organists and pianists
for the College Church, and sang often in
concerts on campus and around Jamaica .
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I was the key pianist at every Spiritual
Emphasis Week on campus, and sang and played the
organ for every ministerial ordination in in
various parts of Jamaica over the five years.
I was also known for playing the "Human Trumpet"
or "Flesh Horn" (utilizing the lips and vocal
cords to make the sound of a trumpet).
An exciting part of my experience in college was
singing in the Jamaica Music Festival between
1973 and 1978 and earning five gold
medals, five silver medals, and four bronze
medals. I was also awarded the Governor
General’s Trophy for the Best Male Singer in
Jamaica for two consecutive years. It was
a floating trophy and regrettably, I did not
have a digital camera in those days.
Each year I entered at least eight
categories of music during the festival:
Opera, Sacred, Traditional, Spirituals,
Classical, Oratorio, etc. I practiced for
months learning those songs. I have sweet
memories of having Mrs. Olive Fletcher playing
for me each time. We would practice together
for hours in the old music building opposite the
Seat of the Scornful.
I won a scholarship for voice training with the
great opera singer, Joyce Britton who was
residing in Kingston at the time. That was
a great experience. I learned several techniques
I still use today. I could remember her
warmth, friendliness, and her home today.
In 1975, the video team from JBC Television came
to campus to do a recording of me singing "The
Blind Ploughman" for the television program
"Music and Youth." "The Blind Ploughman"
was one of the songs for which I earned a gold
medal in the music festival.
I always wanted to find the video I did for JBC
Television Jamaican in 1975. Since then, the
name has been changed to Public Broadcasting
Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ).
I discovered during this search by PBCJ
Liberian, Paul Maxell, that there were
groups also on this video.
In the video above are the performances that
place before and after I sang.
Featuring are Don Edwards, Herbie Fletcher,
Oswald Rugless, and David Rogers in a quartet;
and the High School choir led my Don Edwards.
As time progresses I will have the entire episode.
In August 2022, 47 years later, I was finally
successful in reaching the librarian for PBCJ,
Paul Maxwell, who searched for the video.
I am grateful to him for finding this video.
The video was played a part of the Music and
Youth program. They had not digitized the older
programs yet. Hence, he searched and found it
in u-matic format (analogue)
digitized it, and sent it to me. I paid $25
US/BD to obtain this video.
one hour video with myself and other singers was played on the television station from
1975 to 1988. It was recorded in color
long before the station started to broadcast in
color. Hence it was played in black and
white until 1982 at which time the station
started to broadcast in color. Mr. Maxwell
told me that it was recorded with advanced
technology at the time. I was one of
the artists from around Jamaica who were singing
in the one-hour television program.
The intro of the video shows a packed audience
at West Indies College/Northern Caribbean
University. That was not the audience when I
recorded this video. That was a clip they took
of another concert I did at WIC. They inserted
it here. I could recognize several people in
Since the recording was done during regular
class time, students came in between classes to
watch the recording. Some sat down and some
just hang around. The recording started at 9:00
a.m. and finished about mid afternoon—about six
hours. The producer worked me very hard. I had
to repeat and repeat the song until he was
satisfied. At one point the producer, who was
not a musician, pulled me to the side and was
criticizing how I pronounced a certain word. It
was a grueling six hours, but the outcome was
special to me. That is about 47 years ago. I
was 21 years old. Wow!
As stated earlier, this video of me was played
repeatedly on JCB Television for about 15
years. In the 1980s many would see me in Nassau
where I lived and would tell me that they just
saw me on television singing this song before
leaving Jamaica. It is an experience I will
Thank God I still sing today. I still can blow
the “flesh horn” and I play the organ each week
at the Centreville Seventh-day Adventist Church,
Bahamas. It is a gift I want to keep giving.
U-matic is an analogue recording