EIGHTEEN schools are part of this year's Jamaica Best School Band (JBSB) competition which kicks off today at Belair High School in Mandeville, Manchester.
Details of the event were outlined last Thursday by conceptualiser Rayven Amani during a media launch at Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew. The competition is celebrating its fifth year.
“We start with a preliminary round at Belair High School. Then we go on to Calabar (High School) for the second of two preliminary rounds on the 13th of March. On the 15th of March we go to Bog Walk High School for the third preliminary round, and then on the 8th of April we go to Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts for our semi-final and quarter-final rounds,” she said.
The quarter-finalists are required to respond to questions regarding Jamaica's music history.
“It is very important for our young musicians to know about the rich history of our music. We are talking about ska, mento, rocksteady, dancehall,” said Amani.
There are nine newcomers this season. They are Guys Hill High, Spanish Town High, York Castle High, Tivoli Gardens High, Seaforth High, St Elizabeth Technical High School, Calabar High, Campion College, and Belmont Academy. The field is completed by defending champions Bog Walk High, Ascot High, Belair High, Claude McKay High, Cornwall College, Donald Quarrie High, Foga Road High, Oberlin High and 2015 champions, St Andrew Technical High, School.
Pembroke Hall High School won the inaugural competition in 2014. The second season went to St Andrew Technical High; and the third year to Alpha Institute.
The 2018 winner receives the champion trophy, $200,000, and musical instruments. They will also get an opportunity to do a recording session at Grafton Recording Studio in east Kingston.
Second place will receive $150,000 and a trophy while third place gets $100,000.
Most Outstanding Male Performer will be presented with a tablet, with the Most Outstanding Female Performer awarded a laptop. The Most Improved Band receives a trophy and musical instruments. The JBSB Junior Champions will receive the winner's trophy, medal and musical instruments, with second place awarded medals and instruments.