The U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS hosted the Hayes Quartet in a four-nation Eastern Caribbean tour. The quartet’s first stop was in Barbados on March 20, where it performed during a free public concert at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Sonya Hayes, an accomplished American violinist, accompanied by violist Matthew Maffett, violinist Luke Wedge, and cellist Sean Neidlinger, took the Barbadian audience on an American classical music journey by playing iconic works by American composers, Samuel Barber, Antonin Dvorak, George Gershwin, William Grant Still, and Dorothy Rudd Moore, with riveting passion and precision.
In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS Dr. Larry Palmer affirmed that “the U.S. Embassy remains committed to supporting development through the arts in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and looks forward to maintaining its strong support of cultural initiatives in the future.” Distinguished guests in attendance included the Chairman of LIAT, Dr. Jean Holder and Mrs. Holder.
To facilitate cultural exchange and promote music as an educational tool, Suzuki alumna Sonya Hayes also led a master class at the Barbados Community College with a group of Suzuki Music students. The young, talented violinists were thrilled to have the opportunity to interact and learn from a celebrated American violinist such as Hayes.
The U.S. Embassy hosted this series of public concerts to underscore the excellence and diversity of American music, and the Hayes Quartet’s performances highlighted how celebrated American composers have significantly shaped and influenced the genre of classical music. The Hayes Quartet’s Eastern Caribbean tour also included stops in Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Kitts and Nevis.