The University Singers, and Sandals
Late last year I had the opportunity to attend a concert given by the University Singers.
Now, I am truly no singer. I can carry a tune more or less, but that's about as far as it goes so there's not much I'm qualified to say about the group's technical ability.
However, based on my naive point of view, they are superb. They sounded excellent, as far as the voices go.
But what impressed me was the choreography, their dress and the way they carried themselves as they performed.
Each of the women, for example, had the identical shade of nailpolish on their toes and fingers. For some strange reason, this meant a lot to me (and not for any salacious reason!)
I imagine in any other singing group that such a simple decision could have been met with loud voices of dissent, and appeals to "rights," punctuated by appeals for "justice" (every argument in Jamaica seems to end in a loud cry for justice.)
Yet, here they were fully coordinated from head to toe, having not just taken care of the music, but also the precise way in which it was presented. That kind of cohesion and precision was a pleasure to watch, and to witness, and struck me as being the result of someone's commitment to a standard that was no less than world-class.
These kinds of standards are comforting to engage with, as they show the kind of care that only comes from people who love what they are doing. The love comes through in small interactions and seemingly minute details.
That was my experience at Sandals Montego Bay Resort and Spa, where my wife and I had the pleasure of spending 2 very short nights. Of course, nights are of equal length, but a night at Sandals is an extraordinary privilege.
It was our first time, and to say that we were treated royally would be an accurate description, as their staff worked assiduously to provide us with an exceptional experience. Sandals seemed to be to somehow able to embody some of the very best of Jamaica, and to wrap it up in excellent service.
The result?: I was proud to be Jamaican, which, incidentally, is the very same result I felt after an evening of song with the University Singers.