Bringing harmony to the people
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Mark Ferdinand and T’Shanna Cort as they sang the harmony song live at the Pegasus
Mark Ferdinand and T’Shanna Cort as they sang the harmony song live at the Pegasus

ERC launches song as part of massive campaign


WHEN the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) launched its harmony campaign, it also launched a song in addition to its advertisements, to foster unity among the people.
At the launch at Pegasus, earlier in January, the song was performed live by singers, Mark Fernindad and T’Shanna Cort, and was well-received by a large gathering of invitees including, ministers and officials from both sides of the political bench.


Composer/author of the song “Let harmony come in”, Burchmore Simon, told the Pepperpot Magazine that he was approached by ERC Commissioner Neaz Subhan, who gave him some words of the song.
He then developed the words into lyrics and from that, within a short space of time, it was composed into a song, along with Subhan.
Simon added that song writing is a natural part of his being and it makes it easier to compose music,which is usually done at his Duncan Street, Georgetown studio.
He related that after the melody was completed and arranged, he compiled a demo and sent the copy to ERC with his own voice and they liked it, as such, the song was conceptualised.

Simon has been composing and writing music since he was eight years old, he prefers to write true stories into songs but is really passionate about calypso, and has written many songs for our local artistes.
Simon is no stranger to the stage and singing but now he is comfortable doing what he loves, that is, writing and composing music.
He added that although he hasn’t heard the ERC song being played enough on the local airwaves, he was told it was a hit at the launch but noted that the ERC ads have certainly impacted a lot of people.


As for the local singer, T’Shanna Cort, a University of Guyana Third-Year Public Management student, she told the Pepperpot Magazine that when she was asked by Simon, who is her manager, to sing the song she was elated.
Although nervous, Cort also performed the song live at the launch as well. “I am a Guyanese and every time we have elections we experience this change in some people and I want that to change. Let us live normally like we do every day, in unity and with the song, I am of the hope it will bring such a change,” she said.
This spritely young lady has been singing behind closed doors since she was much younger and only came out of her shell in her teenage years.

Cort said she was very shy but is passionate about singing, and it was when she started to sing in public and realised her true potential that she eventually got over her nerves of performing in front of people.
Cort is a two-time Junior Calypso winner in 2016 and 2017 and also placed third in 2017 r in the Calypso Monarch Competition.

Meanwhile, the other singer Mark Ferdinand, had never met Cort before they collaborated and sang the harmony song, but admitted that they were in sync from the start.
Coincidentally, on the night they sang the song at the Pegasus, they both wore the same colours without even consulting each other, which was a remarkable coincidence.
It took him three days to learn the words of the song and he was really pleased with the outcome.
He knew of the song when he received a call from Simon, and he accepted the offer to sing.

Ferdinand told the Pepperpot Magazine that he started singing in church at a tender age and that he also ang professionally in a band on a cruise ship. Today he sings for events, including funerals, weddings, wakes, anniversaries and other special events.
“I was short in school and the teachers used to put me on a chair to sing, I was the little guy with a big voice and I morphed from that person to a better singer today,” he said.
In addition to the song, the ERC’s campaign includes five harmony-themed public service announcements, four posters, a harmony “passport”, designs for two billboards and the Commission’s new website.

ERC believes the campaign, which is in keeping with its constitutional mandate to promote harmony and good relations, is vital in helping to enhance the environment to foster unity among all Guyanese. It remains optimistic that Guyanese will find useful, the materialswhich will be made available to the public and will be conduits to aid distribution countrywide.

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