Audience moved by Jamaican children with “Hands In Praise” performance

Kevin Allen

Jamaican children took the audience beyond hearing music on Monday night in Mass Media and Technology Hall auditorium with their performance “Hands In Praise.”

A group from the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf danced and used sign language to perform gospel songs, in addition to sharing some of their life experiences.

The CCCD is an independent program in Jamaica that accepts children from 4 to 14 years old and provides both spiritual guidance and practical education in reading, writing and trade skills in addition to giving the children a way to communicate.

“They come to us not knowing their name,” said Dorette Russell, principal and campus director for the CCCD. “We have to teach them their names. We do this through the medium of sign language.”

The night ended with an upbeat freestyle dance where the performers encouraged the audience to join in, which many of them did.

Lindsey Porter, a Morgantown senior, enjoyed how the performance showed a different culture that she hadn’t encountered before.

“I wish that the campus could bring more people here like that, so we can experience and get to know people from other places and they can get to know us,” Porter said. “It is really awesome.”

Owensboro senior Heather English said she was impressed with the appeal the group had for people in the community.

“I was surprised by how many people showed up,” English said. “Especially people who weren’t from Western or students. It was a good thing.”

After the show there were brochures available for people who wanted to donate or volunteer to work at one of the CCCD’s three campuses in Jamaica.

The performance inspired Louisville junior Jessica Mayfield to the point that she said she was seriously considering both options.

“I was definitely very moved by their performance and their sincerity in it all,” Mayfield said. “I’m definitely going to look into their program, maybe going and working a summer with the kids.”