It was a celebration to be sure! As Maa Sa Akhi Performing Arts Academy held its 16th annual concert recital, students and loyal supporters arrived in droves ready to clap and enjoy celebrating fantastic performances.
After an opening prayer, Maa Sa Akhi’s dancers began the program with an exciting African dance piece. The momentum continued with riveting rhythm and drumming demonstrations by beginning percussionists. Then pianists took the stage. One after the next, beginning piano student wowed the audience with their stellar progress.
Piano performances were punctuated with wonderfully delivered vocal solos. Napece Miles sang a cheerful rendition of “My Favorite Things” while Briel Edwards passionately performed “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen.
Next, the exuberant MCs, Nioka Gaudin and Marquise Sutton, students of the academy, introduced levels 2 and 3 piano students. Abigail Belisle led this exceptional portion of the show with a perfectly executed rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” And one after the next, these pianists followed her example, delivering exceptional performances. Next, guitar students performed a medley of songs, including “Amazing Grace” and “Sparkling Stella.” Then, adult vocal students Ariel Gassendi and Yvonne Thomas performed Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and Aretha’s Franklin’s “Natural Woman” respectively.
Even the intermission was accented with a notable grand piano performance by Enensa Young. And what a background for enjoying Ser-t Hepausura’s delicious, mouthwatering refreshment treats. During intermission, attendees also learned about Maa Sa Akhi’s fundraiser - Encore3 and the many health benefits the fundraising products produce.
The show continued with We Rock Band doing John Mayer’s socially conscious “Waiting on the World to Change.” The band turned up the tempo and closed out with Pharell’s “Happy.” All students were presented with congratulatory awards for their hard work this semester. Supporters and staff who were instrumental in the successful semester were presented with certificates of appreciation.
Finally, Mut Hefen Sa Akhi, director and co-founder of Maa Sa Akhi received a gift for her contribution to her students and the community.