Embracing Our Culture: Mercy Schools stand out at JCDC Competitions

In April, Jessie Ripoll Primary, Alpha Primary and Alpha Infant competed in the 2024 National Festival of the Performing Arts competition.

Hosted annually by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the competition aims to “unearth, develop, and showcase the creative talents of Jamaicans from all walks of life.” Contestants participate in various art forms such as Dance and Deaf Dance; Drama and Theatre Arts; Traditional Folk Forms (i.e. historical indigenous dance forms); Music; and Speech – all rooted within the Jamaican cultural context. Each year, contestants compete at the Parish Finals for a chance to proceed to the National Finals where, if successful, they can receive medals, trophies, cash prizes and the opportunity to perform at various national events throughout the course of the year.

Jessie Ripoll had standout performances in both the Speech and Dance categories; with their speech team winning awards which included Best Experimental Class 1 Combined; Best Ensemble Class 3 Combined; Best Class 1 Overall; and Best Class 1 Teacher. Their dance troupe won 14 gold medals; 17 national trophies; and garnered the Parish and National Titles in the Traditional Folk Forms category. Alpha Primary School won gold and silver medals at the Parish Dance finals with their Grade 6 dancers winning a trophy at the National level. Similarly, two of the Alpha Primary students received a merit and a gold medal for their music festival pieces. Alpha Infant School students also shone; winning Best Creative Folk dance (Class 1) at the Nationals.

Apart from exposure and positive publicity for the competing schools and individual performers, the competition helps to hone the talents of our children and nurture within younger generations an appreciation for Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. We look forward to seeing our schools blow audiences away again for next year’s JCDC National Festival of the Performing Arts competition.

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