The Ardenne High School has copped the prestigious Marcus Garvey Awards for Excellence in the Performing Arts; the most celebrated award in the Festival of Performing Arts 2010 organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). The Kingston based school took home the top honor ahead of four other qualifiers at the Annual Excellence Awards for the Performing Arts ceremony held on Thursday, October 14 at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

Rachel Matthews (second left), client services manager of Gateway Shipping Limited and Jean Hinds (right), internal auditor of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, assists students to complete an activity in their Ja Careers with a Purpose workbook during the first session of the Junior Achievement Programme held at Ardenne High School. (Photo Source: The Gleaner Company)


During the ceremony hosted during National Heritage Week, awards were also presented to top performers in the categories of dance, music drama, traditional folk forms and speech.

Ardenne, who entered this year’s Festival of the Arts with over ninety (90) entries across all areas, copped a medal tally of over seventy (70) medals and nine (9) overall awards. According to performing arts coach at the school, Suzanne Beadle, “the success of the school during the competition is the result of a tremendous effort on the part of the schools administration and students in maintaining the performing arts as part of the schools curriculum”.

In Traditional Folk Forms, the Liberty Learning Centre, Buff Bay High School and the Machioneal Cultural Group from the parish of Portland copped the top awards.

The Pembroke Hall Primary took home the top group award for music, while Jerome Welch from the McGrath High School in St. Catherine and Jamielle Gilman from the Mount St. Joseph’s School in Mandeville won the awards for top male and female vocalists respectively.

The Port Antonio Theatre Group won the award for “Best Senior Group” in drama, while The Queen’s Preparatory School took the awards for drama and speech in the junior division. Other top awards for speech were presented to Ardenne as the “Best Intermediate Group” and Samantha Hardy of the Norwich Primary for the “Best Senior Presentation”.

The highly competitive national dance competition saw the Belmont Park Primary copping the “Best School Group” award, Moore Tech Dance Workshop taking the “Best Community Group Award” and the Tivoli High Dance Troupe being awarded “Best Studio Group”.

The Marcus Garvey Award instituted by the JCDC in 1994 is presented to a top awardee determined by participation in at least three of the five areas of the National Festival of the Arts Competition and a tally of points based on medals and other awards.

The other contenders of the award included: St. Jago High School, the Port Antonio Theatre Group, Manning’s School and Cornwall College.