Students at Every Child Counts — a school for special students in Marsh Harbour, Abaco — sparkled brightly in the performing spotlight, as the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival visited, on March 14, 2018, during the Abaco Adjudications. They used their musical talents to entertain Music Adjudicator Trent Elliott Davis, Dance Adjudicator Lawrence Carroll, Drama Adjudicator Philip Burrows, the Festival team from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, and parents and stakeholders in the audience. They opened their performances with a lively rendition of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical “Hairspray”, then changed pace with an operatic tenor solo version of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hand” by Ronel Escarment — who had consistently participated as a soloist in the Festival as far back as 2013. Next, the students formed a choir with drums and percussion to sing “Put Your Hand in The Hand” and their take of Trini Lopez’s version of the folk song “If I Had a Hammer”. Ronel returned to sing Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, and he then joined a group of older male students to sing Sam Cooke’s “Stand By Me”. Mr. Davis even joined the students on the keyboard to give them pointers on tempo and Mr. Carroll showed the young men a few dance steps to improve their future performances, after the adjudication of that song. The highlight for many in the audience was the next performance — a drumming piece, where students traced the art form through its African roots, to Latin influences and ending in a Junkanoo extravaganza. Finally, the students returned to close the adjudication at their school with their version of “What a Wonderful World”. The Abaco Adjudications for the Festival continues on Thursday, March 15, with a multi-school exercise in Marsh Harbour — most of which will take place at the St. John the Baptist Parish Hall.